The term malnutrition can refer to both over and under nutrition. In this guide, malnutrition refers to under nutrition; a deficiency of energy, protein and other nutrients that causes adverse effects on the body (shape, size and composition), the way it functions and clinical outcomes1. Most malnutrition is disease related, although some social and mechanical (e.g. dentition) factors can also have an impact2.
The healthcare cost of managing individuals with malnutrition is more than twice that of managing non-malnourished individuals, due to higher use of healthcare resources3.
Disease related malnutrition costs in excess of £13 billion per annum, based on malnutrition prevalence figures and the associated costs of both health and social care5.
Tackling malnutrition can improve nutritional status, clinical outcomes, and reduce health care use6.
At any point in time more than 3 million people in the UK are at risk of malnutrition, most (~93%) live in the community6.
a. Russell and Elia. BAPEN (2012), b. King et al. Proc Nut Soc (2004); 62:Supp 1a: 27A, c. Elia and Russell. BAPEN (2009), d. Cawood et al. Proc Nut Soc (2010); 69 (OCE2);E149, e. Elia M. BAPEN (2003), f. Ralph et al. Proc Nut Soc (2010); 69(OCE2):E206
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