The Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) and the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) have received support from Prime Minister David Cameron for their campaign to raise awareness of the importance of nutrition in social and healthcare settings.
The associations, which joined forced to stage Nutrition Day today, received a letter from Cameron which acknowledged the importance of the campaign.
"I am happy to lend my support to your campaign which complements the Government's own efforts to ensure good nutritional care," wrote Cameron. "Individuals, carers and professionals all have roles to play in ensuring good nutrition and hydration.
"The changes to the health system, with a greater focus on healthcare outcomes, strategic oversight by Health and Wellbeing Boards at the local level and a leading role for local authorities in public health, present an opportunity to ensure that the causes and consequences of malnutrition are addressed by the whole system."
The Office of National Statistics has indicated that both malnutrition and dehydration are factors that are cited in the cause of death of more than 420 people in social and health care settings every year.
Nutrition Day aims to support the reduction of these incidences through greater understanding and better application of nutritional care practices.
Karen Oliver, NACC chair said: "It's important to understand how much food and fluid is required on a daily basis, how this can be increased and what good practices to follow are.
"I call upon all involved in social and health care to play their part in helping us to promote this vital element of good nutritional care up and down the country.
"Many social and health care staff are in a position to help monitor the health of older people and it is vital we ensure they have the awareness and tools to provide the care our vulnerable patients and service users deserve."
Janice Gillan, HCA chair added: "With more integrated partnership working between health and social care, it was a logical move to work with the NACC on promoting this vital core activity for health and social care.
"There is also a strong economic argument for supporting people with good nutrition and hydration. Evidence suggests that dehydration can lead to increased hospital stay, and increased readmission rates. It is also important to remember that food is the cheapest form of medicine and is as integral to patient care as their clinical treatment."