We should be rightly proud of the advances we have made in modern medicine. Just look at the ultra technical generation of operating “robots” like the Da Vinci which is so precise it can peel the skin off a grape, let alone what that means for delicate operations like prostatectomy surgery. We are right to celebrate.
But is enough being done about the causes of degenerative disease? What we can do to help our outcomes in the first place and is enough being done whilst in hospital regarding the standard of food that could accelerate healing. The general lack of education in our diet is amazing. Even if we know what we should be doing there is a lack of connection with the consequences of poor diet for our health. We are too busy looking at the short term view. In Britain, with long working hours and the idea that we should therefore have and deserve treats the consequence of eating treat food stretches into the future. A real way to make an impact and is to make sure that this information is received long before trouble starts. Shouldn’t it be that our workplace provides this information, firstly to ensure that their workforce can remain healthy, and secondly so that later down the tract some consequences of long term poor diet is mitigated.
Once we are sick, the lack of real quality and care regarding food in most hospitals almost an after thought or more often a cost lead decision rather than a decision which might really benefit the patient in terms of recover. Nearly everyone understands the concept of food as medicine from traditions like the chicken soup “cure” which in some societies are given in times of convalescence. But what are we doing in our own hospitals in regards to giving the sort of quality food that could accelerate the healing process?
We should make sure that there is also on going information and help available once back at work or home. A gentleman who I talked to in the other week had had a bowel operation and continued on the diet he had been advised to eat in hospital with disastrous results – whilst the diet may have been suitable for a short time, he had continue to eat nutrient poor food due to the lack of follow up with his care. It was only after he had become sick that the connection was made between his diet and the state of his health. Sometimes it is about knowing that help is available through the GP and encouraging people that diet does play a vital part in health, however obvious that seems.
We therefore need to look more closely at the causes for ill health, the care in hospitals when our health does take a turn for the worst, and finally the advice we receive after we are home.
Would Florence Nightingale be turning in her grave if she knew that we gave so little attention to this very important part of recovery – Food!
“There may be four different causes, any of which will provide the same result, viz., the patient slowly starving to death for want of nutrition
1. defect in cooking
2. defect in choice of diet
3. defect in choice of hours for taking diet
4. defect in appetite of patient “
Yet all of them are generally comprehended in the one sweeping assertion that the patient has ‘no appetite’.