Food Plate Waste, Dietary Intake and Malnutrition in an Inpatient Oncology Setting (#267)
Purpose: To investigate the association between malnutrition risk measured at hospital admission, plate waste and dietary intake of energy and protein of oncology patients during an inpatient stay.
Methodology: A quantitative, observational cross sectional audit of inpatient dietary intake of 87 patients was conducted by analysing the plate wastage of meals provided by the hospital food services. The wastage results were used to calculate estimated dietary intake of energy and protein for one day. Malnutrition status was determined at admission by the nutrition service and indicates the patients’ current nutritional status as well as the level of nutritional intervention a patient receives whilst an inpatient.
Results: The prevalence of malnutrition in this study was 36%. Malnourished patients met a significantly higher percent of daily energy intake compared to both those not at risk of malnutrition (p=0.04) and well-nourished patients (p=0.03). Additionally, the malnourished group met a significantly higher percentage of daily protein intake compared to the not at risk patients (p=0.02). The number of patients who had ordered enough food to reach their daily nutrient goals was higher in the malnourished group compared to the well-nourished (p=0.014) and not at risk groups (p=0.004). No patient in the not at risk group ordered sufficient food.
Conclusions: The malnourished patients in this study did significantly better than the other groups in both ordering and consuming sufficient food to meet their nutritional requirements, suggesting that increased nutrition intervention leads to beneficial outcomes. Patients in the not at risk group, who receive minimal nutrition intervention and support, are at risk of becoming malnourished during their inpatient stay. This audit shows plate waste can be a valuable measure to target the use of resources within the dietetics and food service departments to monitor and improve patient intake.