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June 1991

Hospital Diets: How Nutritious Are They?

Author Affiliations

Rehovot, Israel

Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(6):1240. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400060146042

To the Editor.—  In an era of increasing awareness as to the potential benefits of a judicious diet on health promotion, we thought it appropriate to examine the nutritional value of diets offered by hospitals to both patients and personnel. We examined the daily menus of five major hospitals in Israel over a 2-week period and calculated the average daily nutritional allowances. Together, these hospitals have close to 5000 beds and collectively employ 10 000 employees. Nutritional values were calculated using a standard computer program (N-Squared Nutritionist III, N-Squared Computing, 1985, Silverton, Ore). The data are presented in the Table.It is immediately apparent that variation exists between the different hospitals both in total intake and distribution of calories. None of the hospital diets meets all or even most of the recommendations of the American Heart Association.1 In most of the diets, fat comprises substantially more than 30% of the

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