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Malnutrition

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 19970, tabled on 24 February 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help support the prevention of malnutrition at the community level.

Answered on

5 March 2020

Malnutrition (or under-nutrition), is both a cause and a consequence of ill health and government recognises the multiple complex issues associated with it.

Public Health England has published an evidence review which considers what works in supporting older people to maintain a healthy diet and reduce the risk of malnutrition in a community setting. The review can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/helping-older-people-maintain-a-healthy-diet-a-review-of-what-works/helping-older-people-maintain-a-healthy-diet-a-review-of-what-works

Government advice is that most people should follow a diet in line with the United Kingdom’s national food model, the Eatwell Guide. Those who are underweight may need more energy or nutrient-dense foods and drinks. The Eatwell Guide is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-eatwell-guide

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) 2012 quality standard 'Nutrition support in adults’ provides advice to help identify people who are either malnourished or at risk of malnutrition in hospital or in the community. This is available at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qs24