2010-10-06

病院食が栄養に乏しい理由


Why is hospital food so nutritionally bad?

Why is hospital cafeteria food so poor from a nutritional point of view? Fried chicken, preservative-filled cold cuts, cheese everywhere, etc. Keep in mind I am not talking about the food served patients who may have appetite problems. It is food they serve everyone else including doctors and nurses, many of whom know better.
日本ではどうなのかわからないが、医師や看護師を含む病院関係者が利用する病院内の食堂では不健康な食事が出されているそうだ。それはなぜなのか。
Few people choose a hospital on the basis of the food or on the basis of the food their visitors can enjoy. Furthermore the median American has bad taste in food and the elderly are less likely to enjoy ethnic food or trendy food. You can't serve sushi. They are likely to use the same food service contract for the patients and the visitors.
1つ目は、病院食で病院を選ぶような人がほとんどおらず、お年寄りがエスニックフードや流行りの食べ物を好まないということ。
For the patients, some of the food is designed for the rapid injection of protein and carbohydrates. For a terminally ill patient who is losing weight and wasting away, this may have some benefits. Since healthier people tend to have very brief hospital stays, they can undo the effects of the fried chicken once they get out. Many of the sicker patients in for longer stays have trouble tasting food properly at all.
2つ目は、末期患者は既に大きく健康を損なっているので、不健康だけれどもおいしい食べ物を食べるほうが良いかもしれず、健康な短期患者はすぐに退院するので影響がほとんどない。
Taxing hospital visitors is one way of capturing back some of the rents reaped by patients on third-party payment schemes.
3つ目は、不健康な食事を出すことで病院にまた来るように仕向けて収益を上げる方法になる、というもの。
I would be interested to know more about the insurance reimbursement rates for hospital food, but at the very least I suspect there is no higher reimbursement allowed for higher quality. Combine third party payment with a flat price for rising quality and see what you get. Furthermore, low quality food is another way the hospital raises its prices to inelastic demanders, again circumventing relatively sticky reimbursement rates from the third party financiers. It's one sign that the net pressures are still in inflationary directions.
4つ目は、質の高い病院食を出しても病院側に金銭的なメリットがなく、質を下げても病院に来る患者がそう減るわけではないため、実質的な値上げの方法に使われるということ。
You can take the quality of the food as one indicator of the quality of other, harder-to-evaluate processes in the hospital.
5つ目は、病院の場合、食の質で病院全体の質を推し量ることが難しいということだ。

病院食の質を上げるには病院のサービスと病院食を切り離すことが必要かもしれない。

追記: @kmiyazawaさんの指摘によると、5つ目は「病院食で病院全体の質を推し量れる」と結ばれている模様です。

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