This October 4 through 8 is Malnutrition Awareness Week™. The American Society for Nutrition (ASN) has pledged to support the goals of this important initiative as an Ambassador by using our resources to help spread the word. We also encourage our membership to become involved and help further spread the word among their colleagues and patients.
Malnutrition Awareness Week is an annual campaign launched by the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) in 2012 with the goal of:
- Educating healthcare professionals about early detection and treatment of malnutrition
- Encouraging the general public to discuss nutrition with their healthcare professionals
- Increasing awareness of nutrition’s role in patient recovery
Today, Malnutrition Awareness Week is supported by more than 110 organizations, including ASN, from around the world, reaching more than 9.8 million healthcare professionals, government leaders, community agencies, patients, and caregivers.
Among this year’s objectives, Malnutrition Awareness Week has committed to establishing nutrition care as a basic human right. As a member of the International Working Group for Patients’ Rights to Nutritional Care, ASPEN recently published “Clinical Nutrition and Human Rights. An International Position Paper,” which argues that nutritional care is a human right intrinsically linked to the right to food and the right to health. According to the authors, “the realization of the right to nutritional care must be a goal of state policies and programs regardless of their economic, social, cultural, religious, or political background.”
As part of Malnutrition Awareness Week, ASPEN has developed a series of ten webinars that will be broadcast live beginning October 4. Continuing education credits may be available for participating in some of the webinars. These webinars are designed to provide researchers, clinicians, and administrators with evidence-based strategies to detect, diagnose, and treat malnutrition at both the individual patient level and the community level. In addition, the webinar “Global Perspectives: Nutrition Care as a Human Right,” scheduled to take place Thursday October 7, 2021 from 12:00 noon to 1:15 pm (ET), will introduce a set of tools that healthcare providers can use to better advocate for public policy that advances nutrition care.
In addition to the webinars, ASPEN offers an array of resources for healthcare professionals, including screening and assessment tools, to help detect, diagnose, prevent, and treat disease-related malnutrition.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that “malnutrition affects people in every country.” Some 1.9 billion adults worldwide, for example, are overweight, while 462 million are underweight. Moreover, an estimated 41 million children under the age of five are overweight or obese, while some 159 million are stunted and 50 million are wasted.
Through your support of Malnutrition Awareness Week, together we can reduce the global incidence of malnutrition, helping people around the world live healthier lives. Click here for a set of useful tools, including suggested text and images for social media, to help you spread the word about Malnutrition Awareness Week.