Malnutrition lurks in the background, if not the forefront, of hospitalized patients. More than one-third of patients are seen in the hospital with varying degrees of malnutrition,1 and far too many experience further nutritional deterioration during their stay and convalescence. We have become more alert to this challenge ever since the shocking revelations in 1974 by Butterworth2 that the issue of nutrition of inpatients was frequently neglected. Well before that, suboptimal nutrition states were closely associated with poor outcomes.3 However, 40 years after our eyes were opened to this long-ignored issue, we struggle to identify appropriate patients and efficacious nutritional interventions.
Kushner JP, Lacy JA, Gay SR. Nutritional Support on the Medical Wards—Thought for Food. JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(1):53-54. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.7062