Do Hospitals really want people to get healthy?

I am amazed when I make rounds at the hospitals in the morning.  Nutrition is completely ignored unless it has to do with the total number of calories or adequate protein intake.   In the doctor’s lounge there is a daily buffet that rivals any cheap hotel.  Sausage, gravy, cheesy eggs and waffles.  There is a small usually untouched dish of oatmeal without the choice of fruit toppings.   There is dairy milk and yogurt in the cooler and Fruitloop cereal and Poptarts on the counter.  The buffet is decorated with a few green bananas and old apples.   Next stop the nurses station.   Styrofoam containers with fried potatoes, eggs and gravy line the counters where staff grabs a quick bite between caring for patients.   Large soda drinks or Duncan donuts coffee drinks are also scattered around.   As I go down my usual  halls in the cardiac and stroke units I find plates of sausage, scrambled eggs and muffins.   Waffles with syrup and the occasional  3 unripe berries and 2 bites of hard melon line the plates.   Of course those with visitors often have McDonalds bags and Duncan Donut bags sitting on the tables.   I have watched new nurses and technicians grow in mass as they work in this environment.  Patients are ill and constipated and the food makes things worse.

So what is the solution.   Begin by throwing out fast food chains and products.   Vending machines should only have water.   Keep fruits and salads available for purchase  between mealtimes in the cafeteria.   Offer an oatmeal breakfast bar with fresh ripe fruit, berries, nuts and seeds.   Offer other whole grain cereals both hot and cold again with fruit toppings.   Lunch and dinner should have menu selections that are healthy to educate people on good nutrition.  Beans and rice and other whole grains.   A variety of other vegetables and large salad bowls.   People will eat it if it is there and good.  There is no reason to offer greasy meat and buttery vegetables and processed foods.   A juice bar should be available.   This is just a start that could be easily implemented.

  1. Reply
    Josh LaJaunie

    I went in for blood work yesterday morning (i haven’t had it done since I went PB/lost weight). i was early, one of the first people in the lab. As i sat there having my blood drawn, in came the nurses for their day of work, with their daily necessities in tow. I saw McDonld’s bags, sodas, cigarettes. Hardly a signal one of them was fit looking, and no one exuded health, emanated positivity. They were there to do a job, that’s it. No one there seemed to really identify as a “health professional.” And the lady’s in charge seemed to be the least healthy of the whole lot…attitude reflects leadership.
    I’m encouraged, however, by the fact that there are Doctors such as yourself willing to speak up and speak out against the Bizarro World “health”care paradigm. Let’s really care about health.

    • Reply
      Dr. Dulaney

      Thank you so much for the comment. It is very frustrating to see young people who are obese working in the health care field. They fail to see the nutrition connection. I know that they are struggling and this is not what they desire. I think my next step is to offer a healthcare provider workshop on plant based nutrition. Getting people to show up will be the biggest hurdle. Thanks for being such a great lighthouse. I tell your story often.

  2. Reply
    Ann Wade

    My bone of contention is with what the hospital cafeterias serve to their ailing patients. Four years ago my mother was admitted to hospital and later a rehab facility after having a heart attack. While my family and I were visiting her during lunch one day, a tray was brought in for her with a bologna and cheese sandwich on white bread! The “healthiest” looking item on the tray was the small fruit cup. We all shook our heads in disbelief. This is exactly what got her in the hospital in the first place! Unfortunately, my mom passed away 2 months later. It was too late for her, but I didn’t forget her struggle with weight, heart disease and diabetes, and am incorporating a better lifestyle because of her. Thank you for all the work you do.

    • Reply
      Dr. Dulaney

      Thank you Ann. I could not agree more. It is so frustrating to see sick patients being served such nutrient deficient food and a boost shake that is suppose to represent adequate nutrition. It is such a farse.

  3. Reply
    Paul Ellis

    Thanks for the blog! I watch a lot of the speakers at they have maybe 200 hours of past speakers. I am attending your plant based thanksgiving program. Paul Punta Gorda

    • Reply
      Dr. Dulaney

      Thanks for the response

  4. Reply
    Michael Fields

    It’s the same here in Australia. Unfortunately, the way I see it, hospitals see that they are giving people what they want. People want fast food, they want sugary drinks. They don’t understand (or want to understand) what true healthfoods are. Our society is full of people who have a shallow mindset of eating for taste, not for health. I find it really sad.

    • Reply
      Dr. Dulaney

      Thanks for the comment. Keep leading by example.

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