A new study shows that one of three patients at Norwegian hospitals is undernourished, and the numbers are higher among those who are elderly. The lack of nourishment is tied to their illnesses and lengthy hospital stays.
“Even though more than half of all adults in Norway are now overweight, the numbers of those undernourished is paradoxically common at Norwegian hospitals,” stated the report that was commissioned by the state health directorate.
As much as 47 percent of elderly patients are undernourished, often because meal service and the meals themselves don’t always meet patients’ needs. It can also be unclear who is responsible for making sure patients eat, their doctors, nurses of other health care personnel.
Lack of nourishment has also been a problem at nursing homes, where meals can be delivered but staff lacks time to make sure the patients eat them. “We must work harder to be sure that meals meet patients’ needs at the right times,” Henritte Øien of the health directorate told news bureau NTB.