BACKGROUND & AIMS: One aim of the Australasian Nutrition Care Day Survey was to determine the nutritional status and dietary intake of acute care hospital patients.
METHODS: Dietitians from 56 hospitals in Australia and New Zealand completed a 24-h survey of nutritional status and dietary intake of adult hospitalised patients. Nutritional risk was evaluated using the Malnutrition Screening Tool. Participants 'at risk' underwent nutritional assessment using Subjective Global Assessment. Based on the International Classification of Diseases (Australian modification), participants were also deemed malnourished if their body mass index was <18.5 kg/m(2). Dietitians recorded participants' dietary intake at each main meal and snacks as 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100% of that offered.
RESULTS: 3122 patients (mean age: 64.6 ± 18 years) participated in the study. Forty-one percent of the participants were "at risk" of malnutrition. Overall malnutrition prevalence was 32%. Fifty-five percent of malnourished participants and 35% of well-nourished participants consumed ≤50% of the food during the 24-h audit. "Not hungry" was the most common reason for not consuming everything offered during the audit.
CONCLUSION: Malnutrition and sub-optimal food intake is prevalent in acute care patients across hospitals in Australia and New Zealand and warrants appropriate interventions.