International Panel of Experts Develops New Definition for Adult Malnutrition

An panel of nutrition experts drawn from Europe and North America has released new universal definitions of malnutrition to help researchers, clinicians and healthcare workers identify and treat malnutrition.

The development of the new definitions was in response to a lack of generally agreed upon terms for  malnutrition and it's various forms, according to the science and healthcare journal publisher, Elsevier. With the new definitions, adult malnutrition can now be classified in one of three categories: starvation-related, chronic disease-related or acute disease/injury-related. Despite the simplicity of the categories, they are inclusive of the major causes of malnutrition. A 2000 study from the Commonwealth Fund found that, depending on the subgroup, between 35% and 85% of nursing home residents can be classified as malnourished.

The experts who contributed to the new guidelines include members of both the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism and the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. The new definitions are being dually published in the journals Clinical Nutrition and JPEN, the official journals of European and American societies, respectively. For more,  read the story.


Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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