Malnutrition can happen when a person does not get enough nutrients from their diet. Either because there is an issue with absorption in the gut or because they are not eating enough calories or foods containing essential nutrients.
According to the British Dietetic Association (BDA), malnutrition is a major public health issue costing the NHS over £19 billion per year in England alone.
There are approximately three million people in the UK who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition; 93 per cent are living in their own home, five per cent are living in care homes, and just two per cent are in hospitals.
In addition, the NHS reports that those who are 65 years and over are particularly at risk of malnutrition.1 The consequences of malnutrition include:
- Increased risk of illness and infection.
- Slower wound healing.
- Increased risk of falls.