A nutrition working group says that 45 percent of patients admitted to surgical and medical hospitals in Canada have inadequate intake of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
The Canadian Working Group on malnutrition, which is a committee of the Canadian Nutrition Society, on Monday published a study on this.
These dietary deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients affect the ability to maintain healthy tissues and maintain functional abilities, the group said in its report.
It appears that patients who suffer from these deficiencies remain hospitalized for two to three days longer on average than patients who did not suffer. The group concludes that this amounts to a cost of $ 2,000 more per hospitalization.
The study also found that a third of hospitalized patients eat less than half the food offered to them for various reasons: difficulty opening the packages, interruption meals or food presented so unappetizing, for example.
In conclusion, the working group recommends establishing a systematic nutritional screening system to all patients on admission to hospital and change barriers to better nutrition.