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Journal of Community Nursing (JCN) | December 2018

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Malnutrition: causes, consequences and solutions

Malnutrition: causes, consequences and solutions

Article topics: Age-related malnutrition, Nutrition screening, Swallowing disorders, Targeted solutions, Weight loss

Malnutrition continues to be a problem, which is estimated to cost £13 billion per annum (British Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition [BAPEN], 2010). The majority of those at risk of malnutrition are living in the community. When resources are limited, it is important to identify who is most at risk so that they can receive appropriate support. This article explains the malnutrition carousel, where malnutrition leads to poor health that then further increases the risk of malnutrition. It discusses the need for balanced diets to help maintain an adequate nutritional state, highlighting which disease states are likely to cause further problems — in particular, those with swallowing problems where texture-modified diets are required. Suggested solutions are also provided to help treat suspected poor nutritional intake.