The campaign group Sustain conducted a study which revealed a staggering 75% of NHS food had more saturated fat than a McDonald’s Big Mac burger. Furthermore, 60% of NHS food also had more salt than this popular fast food burger. However these troubling statistics are not limited to McDonalds, as the KFC Zinger Burger meal was found to have 6 times less salt than an NHS curry.
Looking at Italian dishes, 40% of NHS meals contained more saturated fat than a 9 inch Pizza Hut pizza and an NHS supplied pasta dishes had 3 times the daily recommended allowance of saturated fat and double the amount salt recommended.
This news is extremely worrying because for many years great measures have been taken across the country to encourage healthier eating. Alex Jackson of Sustain said, “It’s staggering to think sick patients could be better off eating at McDonald’s. Without standards, many meals will remain unhealthy and unappetising.”
25 NHS meals were examined in this study and one of the researchers commented, “Salt and saturated fat is linked to heart disease and strokes. Hospitals should provide tasty and healthy meals, rather than ones that could lead to more health problems.”
These food reports come in the wake of Health Secretary Andrew Lansley insisting that work is being done to ensure patients in the NHS receive nutritious meals. The quality has been so poor that many people have returned their meals untouched, consequently costing the NHS over £22million a year. Mr Lansley recently spoke on the Andrew Marr Show and stated that food quality under the labour government caused many patients to leave hospital malnourished. “It shouldn’t happen. I accept we need to ensure, and we are increasingly going to ensure, that patients who are in hospital get the right nutrition. To some extent it’s personalised, because what you need as a patient in terms of your diet often is very personal.”
These revelations are not just limited to the NHS. Many restaurants in the past have received bad publicity for providing extremely unhealthy meals. It is important for restaurants to have a balance of healthy and indulgent meals; otherwise customers may be reluctant to dine with them. So during the quieter months of business, both expected and unexpected, restaurateurs can have more peace of mind if they are covered with restaurant insurance.