Disease-related malnutrition – Costing the UK billions

20th December 2017

Disease-related malnutrition cost the UK £19.6 billion in 2011/2012 and is estimated to cost £71.1 billion by 2045 when taking into account the ageing population and healthcare inflation.

What is disease-related malnutrition?
Disease-related malnutrition (DRM), as the name suggests, is malnutrition as a result of disease or illness. DRM is far more common than many people think effecting 1 in 20 of the general population and 1 in 3 who are in a hospital or a care home with over 65’s most commonly affected.

What causes DRM?
DRM can be brought about by a number of factors such as reduced intake of nutrients as a result of difficulty swallowing or nausea or an inability to absorb nutrients consumed.

What are the symptoms of DRM?
The main symtpoms of DRM are weight loss, loss of body fat and muscle wastage. Wounds often take longer to heal and patients recovery times are significantly increased.

How can it be prevented?
Closely monitoring patients for weight loss and symptoms such as nausea that may lead to a loss of appetite allows healthcare professionals to intervene quickly before DRM becomes too severe. Making sure that all food served is nutritionally balanced and of the best quality ensures that patients receive the optimal nutrition from their food and drink.

How can DRM be managed?
Once a patient is diagnosed with DRM solutions must be found to ensure they receive the nutrients they need. This may come about as the result of dietary changes such as consuming softer foods or an increased intake of calories. Whatever the treatment it must be managed closely, efficiently and effectively to ensure patients return to their normal weight and are receiving the nutrients they need.

We must work towards a better way to prevent, detect and manage DRM by embracing technology and the insight it can give us into patient nutrition.

Kafoodle Kare is our award-winning, government-funded meal planning software to help you manage your ingredients, recipes and costs. Optimise your nutritional care by creating personalised meal plans for your residents and patients based on their individual needs and preferences. To find out more visit https://www.kafoodlekare.com/ or speak to Annie on 020 3371 0450


Further reading:


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