In Norway many residents in nursing homes are malnourished and their diet has often proven inadequate. This study used concepts and principles of a human rights-based approach to investigate the conditions regarding meals for nursing home residents. The study was performed in two nursing homes in Oslo in 2010-2011 focusing, respectively, on staff as duty-bearers and residents as rights-holders, and using focus groups, interviews and participant observation. Findings indicate that applying a human rights-based approach in caring for the elderly can enhance the understanding of the causes of poor nutrition among elderly living in institutions. In line with this we discuss challenges and opportunities in Norwegian nursing homes for fulfilling the residents’ right to adequate food. Promoting their human dignity and empowering them to participate so they can better enjoy the mealtimes, can increase the chances for achieving nutritional wellbeing.

Keywords: Human Right to Adequate Food, Human Rights-Based Approach, Nursing Home, Nutritional Health and Wellbeing