Taking action against malnutrition in Asian healthcare settings: An initiative of a Northeast Asia Study Group

Takashi Higashiguchi, Hidenori Arai, Ling Hui Claytor, Masafumi Kuzuya, Joji Kotani, Shyh Dye Lee, Jean Pierre Michel, Tetsushi Nogami, Nanhai Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Malnutrition is common in Asia, especially among people who are critically ill and/or older. Study results from China, Japan, and Taiwan show that malnutrition or risk of malnutrition is found in up to 30% of communitydwelling people and as much as 50% of patients admitted to hospitals-with prevalence even higher among those older than 70 years. In Asia, malnutrition takes substantial tolls on health, physical function, and wellbeing of people affected, and it adds huge financial burdens to healthcare systems. Attention to nutrition, including protein intake, can help prevent or delay disease- and age-related disabilities and can speed recovery from illness or surgery. Despite compelling evidence and professional guidelines on appropriate nutrition care in hospital and community settings, patients' malnutrition is often overlooked and under-treated in Asian healthcare, as it is worldwide. Since the problem of malnutrition continues to grow as many Asian populations become increasingly "gray", it is important to take action now. A medical education (feedM.E.) Global Study Group developed a strategy to facilitate best-practice hospital nutrition care: screen-intervene-supervene. As members of a newly formed feedM.E. Northeast Asia Study Group, we endorse this care strategy, guiding clinicians to screen each patient's nutritional status upon hospital admission or at initiation of care, intervene promptly when nutrition care is needed, and supervene or follow-up routinely with adjustment and reinforcement of nutrition care plans, including post-discharge. To encourage best-practice nutrition in Asian patient care settings, our paper includes a simple, stepwise Nutrition Care Pathway (NCP) in multiple languages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-211
Number of pages10
JournalAsia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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