New Strategy to Define Malnourished

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., April 14 (UPI) — There is considerable confusion among those working in healthcare on how to identify malnutrition among patients, a U.S. researcher says.

Gordon Jensen, professor and head of nutritional sciences at Pennsylvania State University, says patients who are malnourished are frequently not identified, and patients who are identified as malnourished may not be.

“Depending upon the criteria that are used, up to 50 percent of patients in hospitals or skilled nursing facilities have been estimated to be malnourished,” Jensen says in a statement.

“We’re taking a new starting point that we can all agree on, and one that is based on our modern understanding of malnutrition and inflammation.”

Jensen and colleagues propose replacing existing terminology dealing with malnourishment with a new diagnosis strategy in which patients would fall into one of three categories — starvation related, chronic disease related or acute disease/injury related.

The new strategy has appeared in both Clinical Nutrition and the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.

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