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September 17, 2014

September 15th-19th Marks Malnutrition Awareness Week

This week is Malnutrition Awareness Week.

Malnutrition is more than being "too skinny." Malnutrition can be any type of imbalance in a person’s nutritional intake—this may mean a person has lost weight too quickly or it may mean the food they eat most of has too few nutrients.

The type of malnutrition we see the most of here at Food & Friends is malnutrition in the context of chronic illness.

As dietitians, we assess clients for malnutrition by looking at the following factors:

  • Weight loss over time
  • Actual energy intake vs. estimated energy requirements
  • Body fat: especially looking for body fat loss on bony prominences like temples or the ribcage
  • Muscle mass: again looking for muscle loss, this is most easily seen on the upper arm and calf
  • Fluid accumulation: when a person is malnourished they will have difficulty keeping body fluids in the correct body compartment, so you will see fluid building in areas of the body it shouldn’t be in such as the ankles
For more information about our nutrition services program or to access healthy recipes, visit our website.

Robin Brannon, MS, RD,CSO, Nutrition Services Manager

Robin Brannon is the Nutrition Services Manager at Food & Friends. Previously she spent three years as the Clinical Nutrition Manager at The George Washington University Hospital. She serves as the associate editor for Oncology Nutrition Connection, the peer-reviewed journal of the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group. She also serves on the Chesapeake Food Leadership Council, The Dietetics Program Advisory Board at the University of the District of Columbia, and Patient Education Committee Member of the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation. Robin earned a Masters in Clinical Nutrition from New York University, and a specialty certification in oncology nutrition from the Commission on Dietetic Registration. She received her Bachelor’s in Dietetics from College of the Ozarks.

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