What is malnutrition

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, 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 is a condition that affects 33 million people in Europe.

Malnutrition can affect everyone, including:

  • 1 in 3 patients in care homes
  •  1 in 3 older people living independently
  • 1 in 4 patients in hospitals
  • 1 in 3 cancer patients

Malnutrition is associated with higher complications rate and risk of infections, longer hospital stays and increased mortality. Malnutrition costs an estimated €170 billion a year to European countries.

Below you can find an MNI Infographic that summarises the prevalence, consequences, and estimated costs of malnutrition and it highlights recommendations to tackle it.

What is malnutrition – video

Medical Nutrition, what it is and why it matters
Malnutrition, a condition that affects 33 million people in Europe
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