For Politics and Public Health
Nutrition plays an important role when it comes to the health situation of an individual or a society.
The importance of a healthy diet aiming at avoiding overweight and obesity is already well known in society and by political leaders. However, the problem of undernutrition or malnutrition is often not seen as priority issue in public health and on political level.
Although the problem of malnutrition was first raised in 1974, little has changed. At present still about 1/3 of patients in hospitals are malnourished. Malnutrition leads to increased risk of infections, negatively influences the patient’s wound healing and may increase complications. . This may also result in prolonged hospitalization,reduced quality of life of patients and may also lead to death.
Disease related malnutrition is a much underrated public health concern in all health care settings and has also become an enormous economical burden. 1, 2, 3, 4 affecting about 20 million patients in the European Union countries and costing EU governments up to € 120 billion annually (€ 170 billion in Europe). 5, 6
Two population groups are at particularly high risk: hospitalized patients and residents of nursing homes. It is therefore crucial to identify patients and nursing home residents at risk of malnutrition at an early stage to avoid negative effects.
Clinical results have also been confirmed by the nutritionDay study including over 150 000 patients and residents worldwide.
Our résumé: Proper nutrition care must become part of patient care in order to reduce malnutrition and to improve patient's outcomes!
Nutritional structures, processes and screenings therefore have to be implemented on institutional level in order to monitor and reduce malnutrition effectively and efficiently.
Fighting malnutrition should not only be of major importance to health care professionals but also for decision makers.
Players in the field of public health are therefore urged to start actions to tackle the problem also on political or management level!
nutritionDay is an initiative for health care institutions to take part and contribute in order to fight against malnutrition!
nutritionDay has the aim and the ability to provide valid nutrition related information in a timely manner at the lowest possible costs. nutritionDay is an important first step to fight and reduce malnutrition!
nutritionDay establishes a worldwide chart in which nutritional status and prevalence of malnutrition in hospital patients and nursing home residents and relevant nutritional infrastructures are portrayed between institutions, countries and around the globe.
It provides the scientific and factual database essential for informed decision making on political and management level and possibly also for appropriate public health actions. Because nutritionDay has the ability to directly measure what is going on in the hospitalized population, it is useful both for measuring the need for interventions and for directly measuring the effects of interventions.