Meals on Wheels is Joining the Fight Against Malnutrition.

By Marycela Barron, RD, LD

September 23-27 is Malnutrition Awareness Week. This is not only for the acute (hospital) center as there are implications for community health. This month’s blog objective is to increase your knowledge of what malnutrition is and empower you to take action in the fight against malnutrition.

Malnutrition is the inadequate intake of calories, protein, or other nutrients needed for tissue maintenance and repair per the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.

Malnutrition can occur due to inadequate energy intake or not eating enough due to decreased appetite, insufficient funds to purchase food items, inability to transport food purchases, and/or the inability to prepare meals. Malnutrition also occurs when there are increased nutritional requirements occurring when someone is growing, going through an illness, or in the recovery phase of an illness and is unable to meet those needs. Malnutrition occurs when there is impaired nutrient absorption, transportation, or utilization. These criteria indicate that somewhere along the digestive tract the body was unable to absorb or use nutrients properly.

Meals on Wheels is helping in the fight against malnutrition by increasing our offerings to provide a greater variety of food and nutrients. Our goals are to provide food that people want to eat, exceed Dietary Recommended Intakes (DRI), improve nutrition knowledge, and increase the amount of people we serve each day.

If you or someone you know is at risk for malnutrition it is best to take action as soon as possible to prevent, stop, and reverse malnutrition. Call your doctor if you are concerned. Set an appointment to discuss your concerns and ask for a referral to meet with a registered dietitian.

References:
The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics