A body weight lower than 90% of the optional value has an unfavorable influence on the prognosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Short term studies of up to three months duration have shown improved function of respiratory muscle exercise tolerance and immunologic parameters by an increased caloric intake of 45 kcal/kg body weight. In a randomized trial of twelve months 14 of 30 patients with an average FEV1 of 0.8 l were instructed to take a high calorie diet. For simplicity a part of the calories were administered as Fresubin, a fluid nutrient formula. Although a weight gain of 7 kg (p = 0.003) was obtained the difference to the control group was statistically not significant (p = 0.08). The same was true for skin fold thickness (12.4 vs 5.7 mm), change of ventilatory parameters and the 6 minute walking distance (-33 vs -86 m). Subjective improvement was, however, impressive in all patients with dietary intervention, explainable probably by increased attention. Dietary counselling for increased intake of calories, vitamins and also calcium is thus very important in the treatment of patients with COPD.