An assessment of the nutritional adequacy and quality of food provided to adult psychiatric patients in public psychiatric hospitals in the Eastern Cape
MetadataShow full item record
Introduction: The significant link between mental health and nutrition throughout one’s life cannot be overstated. Yet this strong association is often neglected in the public healthcare sector in South Africa, particularly in the case of people who are being treated for various types of mental illness. It is therefore important to prioritise nutrition care through efficient and effective hospital food services in public psychiatric facilities. Although hospital settings are often perceived to provide efficient clinical care, the food provided to patients by hospital food service units is often criticised for being bland, repetitive and/or unhealthy. At times, too, inadequate food budget allocations by provincial health departments or poor supply chain management practices result in patients receiving inadequate quantities of food at mealtimes, which might lead to their becoming malnourished during their hospital stays. For psychiatric patients in particular, malnutrition can have serious short and longer-term consequences.