Not only in developing countries: 1.5 million adult Germans are malnourished
When people are malnourished, most people immediately think of developing countries in Africa or Asia. But the problem is also common in Germany. According to experts, around 1.5 million adult Germans are malnourished.
Malnutrition not only in developing countries
When talking about malnutrition, you mostly come across pictures of children in poor countries in Africa or Asia. But the problem is also common in Europe. Health experts in Germany warned years ago that malnutrition is becoming increasingly common among seniors. Around 1,200 specialists from Germany, Austria and Switzerland are currently dealing with the topic at the “Nutrition 2016” conference in Dresden.
Old and chronically ill people are often affected
According to a report by the dpa news agency, around 1.5 million people in Germany are malnourished, but: "There is no attention for it." Risk groups are especially old and chronically ill, "who want to be at home, but can no longer care so well". According to experts, the problem is often forgotten by politicians and doctors.
Every fourth hospital patient is malnourished
According to the president of the German Society for Nutritional Medicine (DGEM), Mathias Plauth, on average every fourth patient in the hospital is malnourished. The experts are therefore calling for screening based on the model of other countries, such as in Great Britain, where patients are examined for nutritional diseases. In the UK, health professionals have long been warning of malnutrition due to the country's growing poverty.
Nutrition teams in clinics challenged
The German associations also demand that nutrition teams that work interdisciplinary are used both on an outpatient basis and in clinics. "Nutrition is responsible for many diseases," said Plauth. According to the German Society for Geriatrics (DGG), up to two thirds of the elderly eat one-sided or reduced diet. Illnesses, loneliness, increasing need for help or poverty in old age are reasons for reduced appetite, which increases the risk of serious complications. "Malnutrition patients have a significantly higher risk of dying or developing serious complications," said Dr. Andreas Leischker, chief physician of the clinic for geriatrics at the Alexianer in Krefeld, in a message from the DGG. (ad)