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The Triple Burden of Malnutrition Impact on Global Health

‐ Jan 19, 2021 3:00pm

Credits: None available.

Purpose: The purpose of this poster is to educate practicing nurses on the triple burden of malnutrition which includes undernutrition (underweight, stunted growth, body wasting); overnutrition (overweight and obesity); and micronutrient deficiencies within individuals, households, and communities and the impact that malnutrition has on global health. A second purpose is to educate practicing nurses on the need to assesses nutrition with each patient encounter so that strategies can be implemented to improve the nutritional status of all people with the hope of improving their health outcomes.

Description: The current burden of malnutrition is exceedingly high, and solutions must be implemented to resolve this global problem, as malnutrition has impacted every country. Approximately 815 million people around the world suffer from undernutrition, with 151 million people having stunted growth and 50 million suffer from wasting (Global Nutrition Report, 2018).

More than two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, including the 528 million women of reproductive age around the world that suffer from anemia that would benefit from iron supplements (Global Nutrition Report, 2018; WHO, 2017). The most tragic malnutrition statistic is that approximately three million children die annually from malnutrition (NDC, 2018). Globally more than two billion adult and 340 million children ages 5-19 are overweight or obese, as are about 41 million children under the age of five (WHO, 2017).

Obesity is a direct etiologic factor in many chronic health conditions, including cancer, cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, diabetes, and many more, contributing to about 4.7 million obesity deaths annually (Halloran, 2014). Obesity incidence continues to rise and is the fifth leading cause of death around the world (Salih & Sutton, 2013). Dietary factors are the number one risk factor for disease (Gaples, 2017).

This poster will examine the social determinants of health and those at highest risk for malnutrition (BMJ, 2018). It will also examine the health consequences of malnutrition, including increased susceptibility to diseases, illness complications, increased hospital stays, and increased morbidity and mortality. The diagnostic studies done to diagnose and monitor malnutrition will also be discussed, as will previously implemented actions to address malnutrition and what further actions are needed to resolve this global problem. Healthy food options and some micronutrients will be provided.

Evaluation/outcome: After viewing this poster, viewers will have a better understanding of the triple burden of malnutrition and its impact on global health. Viewers will also better understand why assessing nutrition at each patient encounter is important and learn strategies than can be implemented to combat all forms of malnutrition including overnutrition, undernutrition, and micronutrient deficiencies.

Educating nurses in various aspects of health care on the triple burden of malnutrition may stimulate them to start assessing nutrition and to learn more about healthy food options, including foods high in micronutrients. They may then be better able to educate patients on simple healthy food options that might lead to an improved nutritional status for at least some patients, and that would be a health care victory.  




Credits: None available.