discontinuation of enteral nutrition leads to an inadequate caloric intake, a circumstance that is aggravated by the patient's catabolic state, which in turn contributes to an impaired nutritional status. protein-energy malnutrition is associated with more complications, increased duration of hospital stay, and greater associated costs. the objective of this study is to establish the rate of inadequate delivery of prescribed enteral feedings by nasogastric tube and the reasons for inadequate delivery in hospitalized patients. a descriptive observational cross-sectional prospective study was performed from july 2008 through february 2009. the study included 43 patients hospitalized at argerich hospital in the clinical medicine, general surgery and neurosurgery wards, who were receiving enteral nutrition by nasogastric tube as the only route of feeding. overall delivery of enteral nutrition by nasogastric tube was found inadequate in 79.10% of cases (ci 95%: 64-90%). nursing staffand patient-related causes were the most common reasons for discontinuing enteral feeding (35.85% and 30.19%, respectively). patient-related causes included gastrointestinal intolerance and nasogastric tube removal. according to the results of this research, we conclude that the implementation of specific protocols should be promoted in every ward since they are a simple and effective approach and their use is clearly associated with an improvement in enteral nutrition delivery in hospitalized patients.