Malnutrition is a significant global problem in health care. There are strong associations between markers of malnutrition and increased morbidity and mortality and elevated health care costs. Although there is substantial evidence documenting the nutritional benefits of medical nutrition therapy and the ability to improve some health care outcomes, nutritional interventions have often failed to produce clear disease-outcome benefits such as shortened lengths of hospital stay and mortality. In addition, malnutrition remains underappreciated in general medical care. Given today's emphasis on reducing health care costs, more malnutrition outcomes studies are needed to better quantify nutrition benefits in hospitalized patients and in all who have chronic diseases.

The execution of nutritional support studies in chronically ill patients is challenged by several methodological problems, including no generally accepted definition of PEM, difficulties distinguishing malnutrition from the effects of inflammatory and stress responses, uncertain patient compliance with supplementation, and a wide range of outcome variables. Few studies have combined clinical observations with biomarkers and questionnaires in assessing and monitoring malnutrition.

We suggest it would be easier to identify those patients with a greater likelihood of malnutrition [23, 32] and base this definition of the likelihood of malnutrition on several clinical findings mixed with serology and anthropometric data. This would establish a consistency of markers, methods, and evaluations from which further studies could benefit.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Good Carb Diet

Good Carb Diet

WHAT IT IS A three-phase plan that has been likened to the low-carbohydrate Atkins program because during the first two weeks, South Beach eliminates most carbs, including bread, pasta, potatoes, fruit and most dairy products. In PHASE 2, healthy carbs, including most fruits, whole grains and dairy products are gradually reintroduced, but processed carbs such as bagels, cookies, cornflakes, regular pasta and rice cakes remain on the list of foods to avoid or eat rarely.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment