Constipation is one of the most troublesome complications that the physician has to meet when caring for patients confined in hospitals. The resort to cathartics has come to be recognized as an acknowledgment of defeat; the use of purgatives and enemas merely postpones the day of reckoning to a day when the patient is no longer under the care of the same physician, and the use of indigestible materials, such as bran, agar-agar or liquid petrolatum, is not unattended with disadvantages. All such measures are losing in popularity and giving place to the endeavor to provide the diet with adequate bulk in the form of vegetables and fruits, so that the residue left in the bowel after digestion is completed will be sufficient to stimulate periodic evacuation.
When serving weighed diets to adults it is necessary to write into the diet approximately 800 Gm. of fruit or vegetables to produce