Malnutrition

Malnutrition

What is malnutrition?

Malnutrition is when a person is not getting enough food or the right kind of food, to meet their nutritional requirements. If the food an individual is consuming does not contain adequate amounts of the proper micronutrients, they can become malnourished and unwell, regardless of their total body weight.

Preventing unintentional weight loss

Some people find that due to various diseases or metabolic reasons, they are unable to maintain their body weight or experience unintentional weight loss. Situations where this is commonly seen is in cancer patients who are undergoing harsh treatments, or in elderly patients who have lost their appetite and struggling with food intake.

When individuals are underweight or malnourished, they need to increase body weight to improve their health and prevent the increased risk of morbidity and mortality.

Medical nutrition supplements for weight gain

Medical nutrition supplements are specially formulated drinks that are used when people are struggling to meet their daily nutrition requirements. They are commonly used in a clinical setting but can also be used in the private setting. These drinks are often nutritionally complete, which means that they can be used as a sole source of nutrition if required or as a nutrition ‘top up’, if the diet is not providing adequate micro- and macro-nutrients.


How can PPN dietitians help manage malnutrition?

Our dietitians can help by conducting an analysis of your current food intake to determine whether your diet is adequate in providing the correct amount of micro- and macro-nutrients. From this analysis, our dietitians will come up with a nutritionally balanced eating plan that will provide your body with the nutrients it requires. Our dietitians can provide meal fortification strategies to help maximise the nutrition in every mouthful of food. We can also recommend appropriate vitamin supplements, as well as medical nutrition supplement drinks for top up nutrition or until your diet and food intake is optimised.