Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Bad medicine: medical nutrition

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 18 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e451
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}

Nutrition is a key priority in healthcare. The NHS currently spends £210 million on food supplements in the community alone, and has seen a 33% increase in cost over a three year period.1 Sip feeds (calorific drinks) and various puddings make up the greatest part of these costs. The burden of malnutrition in elderly people and dubious health economics are used to justify the high costs of these medicated foods2—but this money could be better spent.

Total calorie intake is the main issue when it comes to …

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