Food intake, plate waste and its association with malnutrition in hospitalized patients
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Background: Hospital malnutrition is a worldwide dilemma and challenge. High levels of plate waste contribute to malnutrition-related complications in hospital. We investigated the association between the levels of plate waste, food intake and patient satisfaction with nutritional risk and malnutrition prevalence in three hospital settings. Methods: The sample population of 120 patients, aged 18-65 year, admitted consecutively over a 12 month period to 3 different educational university hospitals was included. For all the patients, diet history, anthropometric measurements, body mass index and patient satisfaction with the hospital food service was evaluated. Weight plate waste for all daily meals was done and actual intakes computed individually for each day. Nutrition risk screening (NRS)-2002 (>= 3) tool was used for estimating the nutritionally at-risk population. Results: From one hundred twenty non-critically ill patients with a mean 8.9 +/- 3.5 day length of hospital stay, 40.8% (49) were men and 59.2% (71) were female. Mean energy and protein requirements were 2,030.3 +/- 409.03 kcal/day and 76.13 +/- 15.33 g/day respectively. Mean intakes were 1,326 +/- 681.44 kcal/day and 66.81 +/- 31.66 g/day respectively. The mean percent of plate waste for lunch and dinner were 37.7 +/- 29.88 and 30.4 +/- 23.61 respectively. In the total population, 25% of patients were satisfied and 75% patients were unsatisfied with hospital foods. Based on BMI (< 20), unintentional weight loss (> 10%), malnutrition prevalence was 12.5% and 14.2% respectively during hospitalization. The prevalence of nutritionally at-risk population was 30% at admission time and reached 33.3% at discharge. Conclusion: Plate waste and hospital malnutrition were highly prevalent in accompanying with increasing nutritionally risk progression. So it should be addressed as an important health issue and appropriate strategies for stimulating governmental policies should be adopted.