Tackling undernutrition in the Asian healthcare setting: A Southeast Asian expert consensus

Regional Nutrition Working Group (RNWG)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objectives: Malnutrition is under-recognized and under-treated in Asia due to resource constraints, lack of awareness and knowledge among healthcare professionals and patients, and lack of standardized procedures for malnutrition management. While international guidelines for the management of malnutrition are available, they may not be easily applicable to the patient population and healthcare settings within Southeast Asia. This paper provides consensus recommendations, developed by the Regional Nutrition Working Group, to foster evidence-based nutritional care in Southeast Asia to improve patient outcomes. Methods and Study Design: The group convened and discussed evidence-based recommendations and clinical experiences in the management of malnutrition in hospitalized and community-dwelling adults, and the relevance of oral nutritional supplements in clinical practice. Supported by a literature search from January 2007-September 2017, consensus statements on key aspects of malnutrition management were developed. Results: Malnutrition management should be considered as an integral part of patient care and managed by a multidisciplinary team. Hospitalized patients and outpatients should be screened for risk of malnutrition with validated tools. Nutrition intervention, including oral, enteral, or parenteral nutrition, should be accessible and individualized to all patients who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition. Education on nutrition care is imperative for healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers. Conclusion: These consensus recommendations provide practical guidance to improve nutrition practice within healthcare in Southeast Asia. With collaborative efforts from the clinical community, professional societies and policy makers, this regional effort may also facilitate change in the nutrition practice at the institutional and national level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1161-1174
Number of pages14
JournalAsia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Consensus
  • Nutrition care
  • ONS
  • Southeast Asia
  • Undernutrition


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