A McDonald’s meal may be better for you than NHS food

Food charity ‘Sustain’ have published the shocking results of a recent study, showing that NHS provided food is incredibly more fattening and unhealthy than some of the food served at fast food restaurants such as Pizza Hut, McDonalds and KFC. All three of the aforementioned popular chains are generally associated with fatty foods that are apparently bad for you and are not viewed in a positive light amongst healthy eaters.

The study may go some way to shattering this image though, and paints a damning portrait of the quality of food that hospital patients are being given. Indeed official figures that were released in October of 2011 showed that there are millions of hospital meals being returned uneaten every year, costing the NHS over £22 million. This works out at roughly 82,000 uneaten meals each day.

The investigation discovered that a McDonald’s Big Mac comprised of less saturated fat than three quarters of meals served up by the NHS to patients. In addition, it was found that a Big Mac contained less salt than 60% of hospital grub, with 40% containing more saturated fat than a nine inch pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut. If all of this was not damaging enough, a NHS curry was determined to contain six times as much fat than a Zinger burger and fries from KFC.

The Sun newspaper have backed the Sustain ‘Campaign for Better Hospital Food’, of which the study is part of, and one of its primary aims is to encourage MPs to enforce minimum dietary standards on hospital wards. Prisons and schools already have such schemes in place so it is inexplicable why the NHS does not have similar food controls.

Commenting on the study, Alex Jackson from Sustain had this to say on the matter: “Without standards, many meals will remain unhealthy and unappetising. It’s staggering to think sick patients could be better off eating at McDonald’s”. Katharine Jenner, a researcher, further added: “Hospitals should provide tasty and healthy meals, rather than ones that could lead to more health problems”.

The Department of Health have responded to the controversial findings from the study and said it is individual hospitals that are accountable for their menus and added, “There’s no excuse for any hospital offering poor quality food”.

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