High waste contributes to low food intake in hospitalized patients.Nutr Clin Pract. 2012 Apr; 27(2):274-80.NC
The prevalence of disease-related malnutrition in hospital inpatients is high; many patients do not meet individual nutrition requirements while hospitalized. To better understand the reasons for inadequate nutrition intake, this study describes patient satisfaction, food provision, food intake, and waste of hospital meals.
Over 6 days, 150 hospital meals were weighed and nutrient composition was calculated. On return from the wards, waste was weighed. In addition, nutrition intake was compared to nutrition requirements in 42 patients. In a separate study, the authors studied patient satisfaction with the hospital food service using interviews (n = 112).
The 3 main meals accounted for a mean of 1809 ± 143 kcal and 76 ± 13 g of protein per day. In total, 38% of the food provided by the kitchen was wasted. As a consequence, the main meals supplied an average of 1105 ± 594 kcal and 47 ± 27 g of protein to patients. Sixty-one percent of patients had an energy intake <90% and 75% had a protein intake <90% of requirements. Most patients were satisfied or fairly satisfied with the choices, taste, and presentation of the main meals. Satisfaction with snack meals and information was inadequate.
The standard meals provided by the hospital kitchen provide adequate amounts of energy and protein. However, most patients do not consume complete meals. It may be concluded that food waste is largely attributed to the inadequate intake of many hospitalized patients. Patients who experienced the worst health status ate the least.