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Malnutrition “in a land flowing with milk and honey“

Thirty-five years ago, Butterworth wrote in his famous article: „They shouldn’t be surprised to find a skeleton behind the first door they open“ (Butterworth CE; Nutr Today 1974; 9:4). Thus he described the issue concerning malnutri­tion in hospitals for the first time. In Switzerland, there are approximately 2 million people who are overweight or obese and thus it seems illogical to discuss malnutrition.

The Overview

An expert panel from the Council of Europe clearly stated that malnutrition (especially protein energy malnutrition) is a real problem that exists in hospitalised patients throughout Europe (Clin Nutr 2001; 20:455). There were five important facts mentioned in the report:

  1. Insufficiently defined responsibility regarding planning and management of nutrition therapy in hospitals.
  2. Insufficient knowledge and training for physicians and health care personnel.
  3. Insufficient influence and know­ledge by patients themselves.
  4. Insufficient team work between the health professionals from various medical fields.
  5. Insufficient participation by the hospital management. In order to overcome these obstacles, the Council of Europe appealed to each individual country.

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Tags: nutrition-news ernährung mangelernährung 

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