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Databank. Hospital food
There are a number of factors that may prevent people from eating in hospital. These include problems in ordering food due to language problems, disability or illiteracy. Menu choices may not take account of cultural differences or special needs and meal times may be disrupted by ward rounds, tests or treatments. The general appearance and presentation of food may be poor and staff may fail to identify people who need help with eating. Busy nurses may just not have the time to help. Other people's medical conditions can put people off eating. These factors were brought to light by Gil Hardy, Professor of Pharmaceutical Nutrition at Oxford Brookes University, who said that we have forgotten the importance of food as treatment of people in hospital. Professor Allison, consultant physician and Professor of Clinical Nutrition at Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham, found that 40 per cent of adults and 15 per cent of children admitted to hospital show some signs of malnutrition. The cost of wasted hospital food in the UK is estimated at £144 million a year.