In many countries patients and their relatives retain considerable responsibility for feeding themselves in hospital. While bringing cooked/prepared food in is neither expected nor generally possible in the UK principally because of concerns over food hygiene expressed through the Food Safety Act 1990 (http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1990/Ukpga_19900016_en_1.htm), it is nonetheless good if the patient and their relatives take a positive approach to improving their nutrition. How?
1 Know your weight and height when you go into hospital and think what your usual weight is.
2 Make sure someone weighs and measures you when you are admitted to hospital.
3 Tell the hospital about your dietary needs and cultural preferences
4 Be aware that good nutrition speeds recovery
5 Know that illness changes appetite and taste
6 If you are not eating enough tell your nurse or doctor
7 If you’ve lost weight think about drinks and snacks at home as well as in hospital: milk, cakes biscuits for example. Good nutrition shouldn’t stop when you leave hospital.
8 Visit http://www.eatwell.gov.uk/ but remember that when you’ve lost a lot of weight “healthy eating” may not be your major priority at first.
9 Sometimes people need artificial feeding via a feeding tube placed through their nose into the stomach. Sometimes people need to be fed through a vein. Your hospital should have specialist services organised to supervise these procedures efficiently. Ask about them.