MNI Developed an infographic entitled ‘Malnutrition – A condition that affects 33 million people in Europe’.
The objective of this infographic is to raise awareness on the burden of malnutrition in Europe and to provide recommendations to tackle it.
The infographic is an educational tool on the burden of malnutrition, a condition that may affect everyone, from premature babies to children, adults and older people, either in hospital, at home or in care homes.
“ONCA/ENHA members are free to use this infographic to reach decision-makers at EU and national level to leverage the burden of malnutrition and to provide recommendations on how to tackle it.”
Malnutrition, also called undernutrition or disease-related malnutrition, is a condition where patients are not getting the right nutrition in the right amount to sustain their health. Malnutrition occurs when patients are not able to meet their nutritional needs via the normal diet due to diseases, ageing and/or side-effects of medical treatment (e.g. cancer).
Malnutrition can affect everyone – from premature babies to children, adults and older people, either in hospital, at home or in care homes:
- 1 in 4 patients in hospital
- 1 in 3 cancer patients
- 1 in 3 patients in care homes
- 1 in 3 older people living independently
Malnutrition results in higher complication rate and risk of infections, longer hospital stays and increased mortality. Malnutrition may have a negative impact on growth and development impairment in children and may cause an increased frailty risk, reduced mobility and independence in older people.
Furthermore, malnutrition costs an estimated €170 billion a year to European countries and the cost of caring for a malnourished patient is 2-3 times higher than a non-malnourished patient.
The infographic outlines five recommendations to tackle malnutrition:
- Screen and monitor patients for malnutrition
- Provide nutritional care in a timely manner as per clinical guidelines
- Provide equal access to, and reimbursement of, medical nutrition
- Implement multidisciplinary teams including a dietitian or qualified nutritionist
- Educate healthcare professionals and patient advocates about malnutrition