BACKGROUND: Nutritional support is important in intensive care for critically ill patients in an effort to decrease the mortality and morbidity. This study was conducted to evaluate the propriety of nutritional support and to understand the effect of a nutrition consultationin critically ill patients to assess and analyze nutritional status. METHODS: Between January and December 2006, patients who were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) > or = 7 days and between 20 and 80 years of age were included. Patients transferred to another hospital, patients discharged against medicine advice, and patients with unknown weight were excluded. Two hundred sixty-two patients were enrolled. The demographic data of patients and the state of nutritional support were reviewed by medical records. RESULTS: Two hundred sixty-two patients stayed in the ICU a mean of 16.0 +/- 9.8 days and received nutrition support for 11.0 +/- 8.4 days. Except 15 patients who did not receivenutritional support, the mean daily calculated caloric requirement of 247 patients was 1,406.2 +/- 253.8 kcal, the mean daily delivered caloric amount was 899.5 +/- 338.7 kcal, and the total delivered/required caloric ratio was 66.4 +/- 28.1%. The total delivered/required caloric ratio of the patients who received a nutritional consultation and the patients who did not receive nutritional consultation were 72.6 +/- 25.8% and 55.9 +/- 33.3%. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we identified that critically ill patients received insufficient nutritional support. We recommend continuous monitoring and management for nutritional support by systematic administration of nutritional support teams.