Watch this space for news on the forthcoming Malnutrition Awareness Week! 1st – 5th October 2018.

We are delighted to be joining forces with the Malnutrition Task Force on this joint project which will launch on the International Day of Older Persons on Monday 1st October.

There is a significant problem with ‘hidden’ malnutrition in the elderly. It is estimated that 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 in the UK are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition. The vast majority (over 90%) of people who are malnourished are living in their own homes and yet for many people the signs and symptoms of malnutrition go unnoticed and unrecognised. Malnutrition affects every system in the body and results in increased vulnerability to illness, increased complications and in very extreme cases even death. Furthermore, malnutrition is a major public health issue estimated to have cost £19.6 billion in just one year in England alone at the last estimate, about 15% of the total expenditure on health and social care.

Our President, Dr Simon Gabe, believes the first ever UK Malnutrition Awareness Week is a milestone to be celebrated.

“Malnutrition is often associated with the extreme poverty we see in the news and on the television, but the truth is that it is it can affect anyone, including our own family and friends here in the UK. Malnutrition is a major cause and consequence of poor health and older people are particularly vulnerable. Malnutrition is everyone's responsibility, each of us must make it a priority to understand the signs, symptoms and risk factors – it could even help prevent a family member or loved one suffering from this silent and hidden condition. At BAPEN we are determined that this year with our first ever Malnutrition Awareness Week we will shine a spotlight on the burden of malnutrition in the UK and highlight some of the dangerous myths and misconceptions that abound. The fact that so many people are living into late old age is a cause for celebration, but if there is no change, the prevalence of malnutrition will only increase. Living longer means little if it is not living well.”

To stay up to date with our plans for Malnutrition Awareness Week please follow us on Twitter @BAPENUK and Facebook @UKBAPEN and search for #MAW2018.

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