Managing adult malnutrition in the community
BAPEN and RCGP
At any point in time more than 3 million people in the UK are at risk of malnutrition; most (approximately 93%) live in the community. Groups at risk of malnutrition include those with chronic disease, chronic progressive disease, and debility. Based on malnutrition prevalence figures and the associated costs of both health and social care, disease-related malnutrition costs in excess of £13 billion per year.
Tackling malnutrition can improve nutritional status, clinical outcomes, and reduce health-care use. In most cases, malnutrition is a treatable condition that can be managed using dietary advice to optimise food intake and oral nutritional supplements (ONS) where necessary.
This Guidelines summary aims to help GPs and healthcare professionals in the community to identify and manage individuals at risk of disease-related malnutrition, including the appropriate use of ONS.