More than 2,000 cases of patients with malnutrition were recorded by 43 hospital trusts in a single year.
There were 193 “episodes” of malnutrition in 12 months at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust alone, according to new figures.
Freedom of Information (FOI) figures show a rise of 259 between the 43 trusts compared with three years ago.
The Trussell Trust food bank charity said it feared families were struggling to afford to feed themselves.
The government said that malnutrition was “unacceptable”, but there are warnings that parents are going without food so their children do not go hungry.
‘Thousands’ at risk
The figures were revealed as Tameside Hospital, also in Greater Manchester, became the first NHS hospital in the UK to set up a permanent food bank on site.
Medical staff reported a significant increase in the number of malnourished patients turning up for treatment and care.
Trisha Jarman from Tameside East food bank said: “There are a lot of people out there that are malnourished.
“It’s not just people coming into hospital, it’s across the board. People are struggling to feed themselves and their families, particularly at this time of the year.”
NHS junior doctors in England have overwhelmingly voted to strike over proposed changes to their contracts.
The British Medical Association balloted 45,000 of the doctors after negotiations between the professional association and Secretary Jeremy Hunt collapsed.
98 per cent of junior doctors said they were prepared to take part in strike action, with 99.4 per cent saying they were prepared to take part in action short of a strike. Voter turnout was 76 per cent.
The ballot gives doctors’ approval to a rolling programme of industrial action.