OSLO, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- One in three patients in Norwegian hospitals are malnourished or are in risk of becoming malnourished while the percentage among older malnourished patients is even higher, newspaper Aftenposten reported Saturday.
According to a report by the Norwegian directorate of health, the malnourishment is associated with increased health weakness, longer hospital stays and higher mortality.
"Although more than half of all adults in Norway are overweight, malnutrition is paradoxically very common in Norwegian hospitals," the report said.
The report referred to several reports that all stated that disease related malnutrition in hospitals is a big problem.
"A series of reports have been published in the last 30 years about how the challenge could be solved, but it is still a great potential for improvement when it comes to safeguarding patients' nutritional status in patient care," the report said.
According to the report, the food variety and meal service are not always sufficiently adapted to patients' needs, and that unclear management and unclear distribution of responsibility contribute to nutrition practice not being sufficiently systematic.
It is also noted that insufficient documentation and poor coordination between health professionals and different units represents a risk to the patient during transfer between different care providers.
Inadequate nutrition knowledge among groups of health professionals and lack of availability of nutritional physiologists also poses a major challenge, it was concluded in the report.
National nutrition council proposed several measures, including an overarching national nutrition strategy that includes treatment, education, training and research.
"We must work to ensure that patients receive food that is adapted to their needs at the right time. Preventing malnutrition is much easier and costs less than treating this condition," said Henriette Oien, director at the Norwegian directorate of health.