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New Definition of Malnutrition

Published on June 3rd, 2010

McKnight’s Long Term Care News had an article about the new definition of malnutrition by an international panel of nutrition experts to assist healthcare workers identify and treat malnutrition.

Adult malnutrition can now be classified in one of three categories: starvation-related, chronic disease-related or acute disease/injury-related.   A 2000 study from the Commonwealth Fund found that, depending on the subgroup, between 35% and 85% of nursing home residents can be considered malnourished.   One of the major causes includes failure to train CNAs on proper feeding techniques, failure to staff properly so enough time is given to the residents to finish eating, and the quantity and quality of the food.

The experts who contributed to the new guidelines include members of both ESPEN (the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism) and the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN). The new definitions are being dually published in the journals Clinical Nutrition and JPEN, the official journals of ESPEN and ASPEN, respectively.

 

Joe Pioletti
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