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April 26, 1976

Somewhere Under the Iceberg

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Foods and Nutrition, American Medical Association, Chicago.

JAMA. 1976;235(17):1873. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260430043023

RECENT criticism of the nutritional care of hospitalized patients may have irked physicians who feel that the medical profession receives enough criticism as it is. We know of a number of hospitals that have responded by reevaluating their own patient-monitoring practices to ensure that the episodes reported will not be repeated. Hopefully, the frank discussions of malnutrition in American hospitals will result in positive remedial action rather than negative reaction.

The AMA Council on Foods and Nutrition strongly recommends the formation of hospital nutrition committees and petitioned the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals to support the recommendation. A splendid working model of a nutrition support service has been described by George L. Blackburn, MD.1

The dramatic examples of iatrogenic malnutrition made challenging subject histories. In the case of the articles by C. E. Butterworth, MD, they also made embarrassing headlines.2,3 We suspect that the examples cited were