© Borgis - Postępy Nauk Medycznych 12/2012, s. 979-980
This edition of “Postępy Nauk Medycznych” (“Progress in Medicine”) presents various issues which are primarily related to malnutrition. Patients staying in hospitals are one of the groups of people in Poland currently endangered by the occurrence of malnutrition. The problem of hospital malnutrition was presented in the introductory article to this issue, which was written by Professor M. Jarosz et al. Underweight was found in over 4% of patients admitted to hospitals, and more frequently, i.e. in more than half of them, a risk of vitamin malnutrition has been recorded. In addition malnutrition symptoms also tend to develop commonly or become intensified during a stay in hospital. The nutritional status has a significant effect on the efficacy of treatment, the occurrence of complications, the length of hospital stay and on costs of treatment. For this reason the evaluation of the nutritional status of persons being admitted to a hospital is of such importance, and so is the appropriate diet adopted on this basis.
The first original paper (written by K. Wolnicka, PhD, et al.) proved that dietary habits of underweight children are in many cases inappropriate. A considerable part of the children do not regularly have breakfast before leaving the house in the morning, or get a meal of proper nutritional value at school. Their diets are often characterised by a deficiency of energy, fat, as well as of some minerals (potassium, calcium) and vitamins (folate, vitamin D). The recorded irregularities could lead to underweight occurrence in this group.
Nutritional deficiencies have also been taken up in the two subsequent papers. The first one (written by Professor J. Charzewska et al.) outlines this problem in Warsaw youth. The deficiencies of some nutrients (calcium, vitamin D, potassium, magnesium and folate) may be found in diets of 74-98% of adolescents. In the past few years a disturbing increase trend was noted in the frequency of reported cases of deficiencies in energy, protein, carbohydrates, the majority of minerals and vitamins in the diets of teenagers. What is more, underweight is being recorded increasingly frequently among girls.
The authors of the second of the analysed papers (Z. Chojnowska, MSc., et al.) discuss nutritional insufficiencies in preschool children from all over Poland. The content of some minerals (potassium, calcium, iron) and vitamin D are deficient in the diets of over a half of children. It is particularly alarming that every fourth child seems to have underweight, which indicates chronic energy malnutrition.
The problem of inadequate nutrition is also taken up by the paper written by Professor W. Sekuła and M. Ołtarzewski, MSc. The authors present results of the household budget surveys referring to food consumption by the lowest income households. It turns out that diets of members of those households cover only 80% of the estimated energy requirement. This arises from consuming fewer food products than the average level for Poland, especially with respect to such products as beef, veal, the highest quality meat products, butter, confectionery and fruit. The low energy intake points to a great likelihood of malnutrition occurrence in this group.
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