Hospital foods are notorious for not hitting the spot during a patient’s stay in a stiff, sterile bed, and even though in recent years the standards for hospital meals have risen considerably, it’s still a concern throughout the world. Those who end up in a public hospital are much less likely to receive healthy, filling, and delicious meals, which is shocking considering the hospital is where you go when you’re sick. If you’re not being treated for high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes the day you’re admitted to the hospital, you may be down the road if you’re eating the typically tasteless food they supply.

The Health Hospital Food Initiative was implemented in 2012 by the New York City Department of health and Mental Hygiene and aims to supply patients with healthier meals in New York City hospitals. With the Initiative comes a list of standards for hospitals to abide by, along with beverage and food vending machine requirements, food and drink advertisements within the hospital, and of course the meals supplied to the patients during their stay.

According to those standards, the hospital must supply all sandwiches, salads, and entrees that are 700 calories or less, and at least half of the meals supplied must have no more than 500 calories. It goes beyond simple calorie counting. If a 12-ounce portion of soup is served, it can’t contain more than 720 milligrams of sodium, and the implementation supplies a list of ways to reduce sodium, such as watching soup can- and broth-based food labels and asking for “no salt added” options. In the last 50 years, the food portions have tripled and quadrupled in size across the country, including the hospital meal portions, making it a major contributor to the obesity crisis in America.

Meanwhile, over the in UK, patients are being assessed for malnutrition when they’re first admitted into the hospital in order to put more responsibility on the shoulders of those who provide these meals. Malnutrition doesn’t necessary mean a skin and bones person, but it is actually the lack of proper nutrition caused by either not having enough to eat, not eating enough of the right things, or the body’s inability to use the food that one eats, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

10 Hospital Meals From Around The World:

1. Sydney, Australia: Pumpkin soup, apricot chicken, peas, and mashed potato.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Richmond, Canada: Sweet and sour pork, bok choy, and a side of honeydew melon.

Richmond, Canada
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3. Hungary: Bread, butter, and minced bologna.

Korhazi Koszt blog Korhazi Koszt blog

4. Huddinge, Sweden: Chicken curry, mixed vegetables, and an orange.

Huddinge, Sweden

5. Malaysia: Fried chicken leg and chili noodles.

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6. Johannesburg, South Africa: Poached eggs, sausage, tomato, hash brown, and toast.

Johannesburg, South Africa
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7. New York, USA: Salmon patties with saffron cream sauce, rice, pumpkin, and banana cake.

New York, USA
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8. Jakarta, Indonesia: Noodles, chicken, eggs, and rice porridge.

Jakarta, Indonesia
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9. Germany: Schnitzel, spätzle (dumpling-noodles), iceberg lettuce, dessert pudding, and crumb cake.

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10. Britain: Minestrone soup, beef and onion pie, and a banana.

Great Britain
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