Monday, January 28, 2008
Hospitals and Jell-O
Beware of eating hospital food. I have witnessed first-hand the serving of green jell-O to all in-patients who were recovering on the fifth floor of the hospital. There was not a specific menu for each person. Everyone got green jell-O! Since when have doctors promoted sugar?
I have had a little box of jell-O in my cupboard for years. I was going to use it once to make a recipe that I never made. I am looking at the ingredients and the nutrition facts, and it is worse than I could have guessed. The first ingredient is sugar, which is obvious, and then there is a list of ingredients that I can't pronounce (a really bad sign!), and then I counted 4 different food dyes. Under the nutrition facts there is no nutrition. Just a ton of sugar and some sodium. This is what Kaiser serves its patients. Ironically, in my neighborhood, there is a Kaiser billboard that shows a picture of fresh blueberries with the slogan, "Thrive." This deserves a letter to the board of directors at the hospital. Why would they promote fresh fruit while serving their patients jell-O?
Yesterday I called the San Diego hospital where my mom had been recovering for 8 days from surgery. Her recovery was estimated to be quicker than that, but she was not able to keep her jell-O down. I asked to speak to a dietitian. First, I spoke with a "nutrition clerk". I asked about the foods that the hospital was serving, and their nutritional value. I asked why my mom wasn't getting appropriate nutrition. I didn't get an answer but was told the dietitian would call me. I got a voice mail from the dietitian soon after my phone call. She didn't answer my questions, but she did call me back. Two hours after I called the hospital, my mom was discharged from the hospital.