Study raises concerns about quality of hospital meals

12 Jan 2023

According to a study of meals served at Cape Town hospitals the food served to hospital patients are way below the health department “ration scale” and patients’ energy requirements, reportedFinancial Mail (12 January 2023).

An analysis by Western Cape dietetics lecturer Marieke Theron found low protein intake was directly linked to poor food quality and staff/service issues, which is why ‘the problem of hospital food service is a much more complicated issue than the ration scale alone’.

“Theron calculated the daily energy requirements for the 71 male patients in her study at 8,255kJ-8,970kJ and for the 57 female patients at 7,104kJ-7,333kJ. But at the central hospital, they consumed 32% (men) and 29% (women) less. Protein requirements were 73g-87g for men and 78g-80g for women, but patients at the smallest hospital ate just over half of what they needed.”