20/05/2012 10:28 BST

'Big Mac Healthier Than NHS Hospital Food' Says Study

Some hospital patients would be better off having a MacDonald's burger than eating food currently served on wards, a Study has shown.

Food charity Sustain's research showed that 75% of hospital food contained more saturated fat than a Big Mac, while 60% of hospital dinners also had dangerously high levels of salt.

The poor nutritional quality of food served up by the NHS Supply Chain compounds the government's embarrassment over hospital meals.

It shows little has changed since an official survey published in December revealed that one in 10 of 60,000 NHS patients rated hospital food as 'poor'.

The Sun's campaign for better hospital food, backed by Sustain and other health charities, urges the government to set minimum standards for hospital food, labelling the current meals 'NHS big muck.'

Millions of hospital meals are returned uneaten each year, costing the NHS more than £22 million, official figures last October revealed.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show that the government was working to improve the quality of food in hospitals, saying that the number of patients leaving hospitals malnourished was significantly worse under the Labour government.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has come under fire

He accepted that poor quality food in hospitals "shouldn't happen" but said that dietary requirements were often "very personal" and so food needed to be "personalised."

He told the Andrew Marr Show that both the Department of Health and "on a range of projects to demonstrate precisely how the buying standards in hospitals can be used in order to deliver better nutrition for patients"