Medical Care and Malnourishment: Moving Toward Nutrition as a Human Right

Recent research tracking over a thousand patients in 20 hospitals found that 45 percent were at risk for malnutrition or were severely malnourished and that many discharged in the same state. Disease Related Malnutrition (DRM) is associated with poor outcomes such as complications, longer hospital stays and higher readmission rates. This has galvanized action to address DRM to enhance health outcomes for patients and health systems.

Researchers in Canada and other advocates in the U.S., Europe and across the world to better identify, detect, prevent and treat malnourishment in hospital settings. There is an opportunity to promote both bottom-up and top-down approaches to this work. Part of the effort is to have nutrition care recognized as a human right by states and policymakers to improve accountability for nutrition care.

IAFNS partnered with the Canadian Nutrition Society and the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force to offer the Food for Health Workshop as a Pre-Conference Event immediately preceding the Canadian Nutrition Society meeting. This pre-conference workshop focused on efforts to improve health outcomes related to in-hospital nutrition care by pursuing several efforts at the local, regional and global levels.