Why is it so difficult to get whole milk in a hospital?

I get that a high percentage of the population is overweight, and that in fact many hospitalized people are in hospitalized for conditions that are exacerbated by being overweight.

Still, people (some of whom are not overweight) are in there for other things, such as accidents, or cancer - conditions in which it is important to get some nutrients back in the body. Why feed these people skim/lowfat milk?

Maybe it is different everywhere else from where my parents were hospitalized. I don’t see why I had to leave the hospital grounds to get whole milk for my recovering-from-knee-surgery father or recovering-from-cancer-surgery mother.

Is our fear of fat really so high that we can’t offer it to people who really need it?

Never been hospitalized and I don’t work in a hospital, so I can only offer a guess. There are much better options than whole milk for people who need the extra calories. Like Ensure, which provides vitamins/minerals.

Also, the majority of people of whole milk drinkers probably don’t mind 2%.

Maybe simpler and maybe cheaper (due to volume considerations) to just stock the most popular variety, rather than skim, 1%, 2% and whole milk (which up here is, I think, 3.25%)?

Give me anything except skim milk (which I consider to be disgusting cloudy water). If an individual needs to consume more butterfat or calories, there’s several possibilities that will boost them a lot more than switching from 2% to 3.25% butterfat.

Its thought there might be a link to autism:

Fear of fat, and the same reason it is practically impossible to find full-fat yoghurt outside of a health-food store.

I don’t think anyone over the age of 2 “really needs” whole milk.

It’s not just high in fat it’s high in saturated fats. There are much better choices for people who need fat in their diets.

Maybe I’ll have to start a poll on this, because I, for one, consider 2% nearly as nasty as skim, drinkable only after modification with half-and-half. :slight_smile:

The Ensure angle makes sense. I haven’t tried it. My grandmother, being fed the stuff when she was 84 lbs, wasn’t a fan.

My question was prompted a bit by Mister Rik’s thread in which he reveals that the institution for which he works provides only margarine, not butter.

I will go to someone’s home and drink skim milk and eat margarine if that’s what I have to do to be polite. But I don’t see why I should have to take it from someone who is allegedly responsible for my well-being.

Make a duck noise here:
Vegan propaganda.

I love ice-cold WHOLE milk. I’m single and buy it by the gallon.

Anything else is crap. IMHO.

A cursory bit of googling suggests there is casein in lowfat and skim milk as well, so that doesn’t seem to be it.

We have whole/low/non in my ER. Post-op pts are often eased into a regular diet.

The last time I was in the hospital, six months ago, they decided to put me on a low-fat or low-cholesterol menu. So I got margarine instead of butter. Never mind that it’s got lots of trans-fat. And as if two days would make a difference.

Not arguing with whether the diet was reasonable under the circumstances, but I just checked my margarine container - “…**No **Trans Fat, Non Hydrogenated, Low in Saturated Fat…”. Maybe it depends on the brand of margarine (Becel in this particular case), but I’m not health-conscious enough to actually pay attention to such things, so that was a somewhat random choice of brand when I bought it.

Huh? Every supermarket I’ve ever visited has whole-milk (i.e., full-fat) yogurt. Mind you, I’m talking about the 32-ounce tubs of plain yogurt, not the little cups of flavored yogurt meant for snacking. But still, they all sell the whole-milk stuff.

Add me to this camp. Heck, you can see the difference between whole and 2%. 2% just looks watery.

Well for one thing, whole milk isn’t good for you. The hospital doesn’t give chips and dip, or candy bars either. The things that some people complain about…jeez.

My guess would be that far fewer people need whole milk, and thus not all that practical to keep on hand. Milk does go bad.

Other than fat content, I would imagine 1% and 2% milk has the same universal benefits of whole milk - vitamin C and D and calcium, etc.

I’m in hospital management. And one of the horrible things you learn in that field is that when it comes to food service in a hospital, management is overwhelmingly concerned with only one thing: cost.

Whether whole milk is “healthy” or not is debatable. But I’ll guarantee you that you’re not seeing it in the hospital because of one reason: patients and cafeteria visitors mostly don’t want it. The hospital buys in bulk, and is therefore going to buy the kind of milk that most people will drink. If they’re not keeping a wide variety of milk products, it’s because they’ve determined it’s not cost-effective.

Hospitals will serve an appalling amount of unhealthy food in their cafeterias (and to a slightly lesser extent, their inpatients) because unhealthy food is usually cheaper to serve in bulk than fresh, healthful options that include a lot of vegetables.

Not according to recent research.

The opposite is also true - you can’t get them to give you NO milk.

Because I’m between jobs, I’ve been around to help my family a lot recently with a whole series of issues with my Grandmother having a fall and ending up in a hospital through a nursing home and a rehab center, back to her new apartment in an assisted living facility. In each of the three facilities where she was provided meals, they HAD to bring milk. More than once, I was helping her fill out her menus, and I would write on there, “Please do not bring milk. She will not drink it. Please bring regular sprite/7up/sierra mist.” We wanted her to have the calories - she needs them - but she hasn’t drunk milk since she was a kid. She’s not going to start at 86. It’s just a waste. And every day, I’d sweep up two or three little milk cartons from her nightstand.

I finally managed to be visiting at a time I could pounce on the nutritionist, and she told me that it was a state law to provide milk. There was a solid eye roll on her part - apparently she even has to provide it to people she knows are lactose-intolerant until she can get some particular waiver signed by one of the doctors, and she occasionally has patients who drink it anyway and have, um, reactions, because they’re too out of it to know better.

Then again, in a lot of these places, you can’t just let folks eat whatever they want. Eating nothing but cottage cheese, white bread, and bologna is part of how my grandmother ended up there in the first place.

See this is kind of the answer I was expecting, just waiting for someone in the business to chime in (although I can still hope against hope that if I must fall ill, I will do so in outlierrn’s jurisdiction).

It just seems that with the legendary awfulness of hospital food, combined with traumatized people who are likely to be off their feed anyway, it is such as no-brainer to be able to provide something like this. Not because everyone does or should like whole milk, but because almost everyone is able to state a clear milk preference. Still seems like easy calories, to me.

Again, I’m looking at it from the perspective of visiting chronically underweight people, who were supposed to be transitioning to regular food.