• 12% of pediatric patients show signs of moderate or severe malnutrition and about 40% of children go to the hospital with overweight-obesity symptoms


  • The existence of a chronic disease and the length of hospital stay are the main causes of malnutrition. In the absence of disease, poor eating habits and nutrient intake deficits are associated with malnutrition


  • Malnutrition causes stunted growth, alters functional capacity and neurological development, affects the immune system and favors the appearance of infections


  • Experts recommend the implementation of universal and mandatory nutritional screening in the first 24-48 hours of admission as a key strategy in the fight against malnutrition

Madrid, September 24, 2019.- Nearly half of hospitalized children have malnutrition, either with chronic or acute malnutrition in 12% of cases or with signs of overweight-obesity in 38% of income . Although malnutrition due to a decrease in food intake linked to poverty conditions is the most prevalent in the world, in industrialized environments disease-related malnutrition predominates, mainly in hospitalized patients. Given the high incidence of this type of malnutrition and the impact on the health and development of the child, the most malnourished Alliance has presented the monograph "Notebook towards zero malnutrition in Pediatrics" with the aim of reducing its impact by betting, among other measures, on the introduction of pediatric nutritional screening upon admission.


“Since the child is an individual in continuous growth, not only weight loss should be considered as a nutritional deterioration. Inadequate weight and height gain can also lead to the diagnosis of malnutrition, a fact that negatively influences the growth process, alters neurological development and favors the alteration of the immune system and the appearance of infections, ”says Dr. Miguel León, president of the Alliance morenutridos , an entity founded by the Spanish Society of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (SENPE) and the Abbott Foundation, in which 16 organizations and scientific societies expert in malnutrition are integrated.



Mandatory Nutrition Screening


Disease-related malnutrition (DRE) is a common problem at all levels of health care, from primary to specialized care, which has its origin in an intake of inadequate nutrients and energy compared to the patient's requirements. Experts estimate that around two million people in Spain, one in four hospitalized patients is at risk of malnutrition, especially in older people or those with cancer, respiratory or cardiovascular diseases.


In the case of the child population, the main predictor of malnutrition in hospitalized children is the existence of a chronic underlying disease (celiac disease, chronic kidney disease, cancer or heart disease) or an acute situation (infections or trauma). "This type of disease produces a decrease in appetite, malabsorption or loss of nutrients or an increase in energy expenditure that trigger cases of malnutrition and therefore impact on the quality of life of children and the evolution of their disease " states the Dr. Rosaura Leis, representative of the Spanish Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (SEGHNP) in the most nourished Alliance .


The most nurtured Alliance Notebook sets universal and mandatory nutritional screening in the first 24-48 hours of admission as a key strategy in the fight against malnutrition. This screening must be included in the Electronic Medical Record to promote action protocols, monitor care and evaluate health outcomes.

Screening allows to detect patients at nutritional risk from the moment of admission and thus decide whether they should undergo a complete nutritional assessment to implement the necessary oral treatment or supplementation. Dr. Leis highlights the importance of a good nutritional screening performed by the nursing professionals of the hospitalization units since “it is possible to predict the probability that nutritional factors affect the evolution of the patient and determine whether the establishment of a nutritional treatment It can impact evolution.


Alliance more nurtured


Created in 2015 at the initiative of the Spanish Society of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (SENPE) and the Abbott Foundation , the most nourished Alliance is made up of 16 scientific organizations and societies committed to the objective of publicizing the problem of Malnutrition Related to Disease (DRE) in Spain, as well as the necessary steps to detect and control its impact on the National Health System.

The health professionals of the Alliance rely on the multidisciplinary approach to malnutrition and the implementation of screening at different levels of care since early detection and prevention are essential in the prognosis of the patient, in the adequate consumption of resources and the control of Socio-health costs


For more information on the most nurtured Alliance: