About two million hospital patients across the UK are suffering from malnutrition, a Scottish dietician has warned.
Concern is growing over the number of malnourished hospital patients
Professor Rosemary Richardson, of South Glasgow University Hospitals, said nutritional management must be addressed to prevent an epidemic.
The condition is said to affect six in every 10 patients and about half of those in care or residential homes.
Many elderly people in Scotland are said to suffer from malnutrition.
A new healthcare group, Patients 1st in Nutrition, is being launched on Monday to address the problem.
It is due to unveil a new nutritional sip-feed, Fortsip Bottle, which is designed to be easier for elderly or infirm patients to use.
Comprising health chiefs and patient groups, Patients 1st will aim to increase awareness of the dangers of malnutrition.
It is estimated that £226m could be saved across the UK if malnutrition is identified more quickly and deal with.
Speaking on behalf of Patients 1st, Dr Carl Dunford, from Birmingham, said meeting the nutritional requirements of patients was crucial.
He said: "Packaging of products has been a real issue for patients and the introduction of the new Fortsip Bottle brings a simple yet very important addition to the choice we have in nutritional management.
"The fight against malnutrition in at-risk groups needs to step up a pace.
"There is a need for nutritional management to rise up the healthcare agenda and be viewed as a central part of the care package."