LOUISVILLE, KY – Patients and medical staff are abuzz about the University of Louisville Medical Center’s (ULMC) new dietary option: the American diet. It debuted on the menus and order sets alongside therapeutic hospital diets such as the diabetic, low sodium, and renal diets. It is also available in mechanical soft, puree, and tube feeding forms by special order.
The American diet option provides from 10 to 16 grams of sodium daily and between 500-750 grams of fat content. No limitations are placed on the amount of trans fats. Entrée items include cheeseburgers, pork sausage links, and deep dish pizza. Side items range from milk shakes and ice cream to salted potato chips and cream of mushroom soup. Each patient meal tray comes standard with six soy sauce packets and a liquid butter pumper.
The American diet quickly became the most popular diet ordered at ULMC, eclipsing regular, diabetic, and 2-gram sodium diets in a matter of days. ULMC is having difficulty keeping soy sauce packets in stock, however. ULMC’s Director of Nutrition Brad Bockengach reported that complaints about hospital food have “virtually disappeared, with the exception of the grumblings of a few rogue cardiologists.”
At ULMC, patient satisfaction scores doubled within the first week after the introduction of the new diet. Scores took a slight dip when the food services experienced a shortage of soy sauce packets but have now rebounded. One unintended effect is that several patients have attempted to refuse NPO status before procedures, while others have attempted to postpone discharges in order to consume extra American diet meals, according to Chief Resident Gennifer Adgekaye.
The diet is the brainchild of nephrologist F. Spinner Arndkopff, who has used it to treat numerous cases of hyponatremia. Arndkopff told Gomerblog, “it beats the heck out of free water restriction, and there’s no problem with adherence.”