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Malnutrition in adult hospital patients

Liz Anderson First published: Last updated:


Approximately 45% of people admitted to care settings are at risk of malnutrition (Stratton et al, 2022). Many inpatients may not feel like eating or drinking as a result of acute illness or a long-term health condition (Rollins, 2002). In a busy clinical environment, it can be challenging for healthcare professionals to provide sufficient nutrition and hydration to meet patients’ requirements.

Malnutrition is a complex condition and does not occur solely as a result of poor hospital catering. Although the quality of food is important, it is just one factor to consider when providing nutritional care.
Malnutrition is defined as a:

State of nutrition in which a deficiency of energy, protein and other nutrients causes adverse effects on the body’s size, composition and function resulting in poorer clinical outcomes.
Stratton et al (2018)

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (2018) state that nutrition and hydration are fundamental aspects

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Liz Anderson

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