Background: In-patients inadequate food intake can worsen the prevalence and degree of malnutrition.
Patients and methods: A one day questionnaire was used in medicine (M-Dpts) geriatric (G-Dpts) and surgery (S-Dpts) departments of a university hospital to: i) evaluate nutritional status with the Detky score, ii) quantify food intake, iii) understand the reasons of non-consumption of in-patients (n 286, 46 & 104 in M-, G- & S-Dpts, respectively).
Results: 33 and 30% patients in M-Dpts, G-Dpts and S-Dpts respectively had a potential malnutrition according to the Detsky score.
When breakfast, lunch and dinner were considered separately, patients who had eaten: the whole breakfast were 77, 67 and 74%, the whole lunch 73, 69 and 69% and the whole dinner 80, 73 and 72% in M-, G- and S-Dpts respectively. 46, 24 and 33% patients from M-Dpts, G-Dpts and S-Dpts have eaten the total menu of the day.
Patients were more likely to eat the totality of fruits & vegetables than all the meat any (fruits & vegetables vs meat: 72 vs 40%, 74 vs 51%, 81 vs 69% in M-, S- and G-Dpts respectively, P<0.05).
Patients who had lost more than 3 kg during the last 3 m, who had not eaten the entire menu or who had not eaten the totality of the meat were more likely to have a potential malnutrition. Too many dishes on the tray and the illness itself are the 2 main reasons mentioned by the patients for not consuming the food served.
Conclusion: Food intake is insufficient in in-patients particularly in terms of protein and for patients who already have potential malnutrition. Given energy enriched food could be one solution to improve in-patients food intake.
01 - 05 Apr 2006
European Society of Endocrinology