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Nov 01 2014
New Report Details Consensus from Global Malnutrition Conference

A new paper published in the August 2014 edition of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences estimates that “one-quarter to one-half of patients admitted to hospitals each year are malnourished” in emerging and developed nations, affecting patients regardless of geography, age or perceived health. Summarizing the outcomes of an international conference held in Washington, DC in March 2014, the paper highlights the potential for nutrition interventions to provide cost-effective preventive care and improve health outcomes.

The international meeting, entitled “Clinical and Economic Outcomes of Nutrition Interventions Across the Continuum of Care,” was jointly presented by the Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science at the New York Academy of Sciences and the Abbott Nutrition Health Institute and brought together leading researchers, clinicians, economists, and policymakers from around the globe.

Setting the stage for the discussion, keynote speaker Dr. Kelly Tappenden, Ph.D., R.D., FASPEN, professor of Nutrition and Gastrointestinal Physiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, as well as clinical representative in the Alliance, laid out the challenges of changing the malnutrition paradigm and emphasized three areas where there is global consensus:

  1. Malnutrition is common worldwide.
  2. Malnourished patients have poorer health-related outcomes than their non-malnourished counterparts.
  3. Nutrition intervention can make a difference.

Speakers Dr. Leah Gramlich (University of Alberta, Canada), Dr. Lim Su Lin (National University Hospital, Singapore), Dr. Marian de van der Schueren (VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, Netherlands) and Dr. Carla Prado (Florida State University) shared data and insights from around the world regarding nutritional care integration, hospital protocol implementation, the importance of screening for malnutrition at admission, and providing a nutrition intervention discharge plan to patients.

“We're well aware that malnutrition does not start in hospital,” Dr. de van der Schueren said. “It starts at home, and it needs to be solved after discharge.” This statement echoes that the discharge phase of a patient’s hospital stay may provide an opportunity to educate patients on the value of consuming oral nutritional supplements in order to further improve health outcomes in the community setting.

The conference also included such prominent speakers including Dr. Marinos Elia (University of Southampton, UK), and Dr. Michael Johnson (Bayada Home Health Care), Dr. Tomas Philipson (University of Chicago).

The new paper in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences contains a comprehensive summary of the conference findings and documents the need for the nutrition community to demonstrate the economic value of nutrition care through research and discourse. Learn more about this paper and the conference.

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