Malnutrition Awareness Week takes place from September 16 to 20 this year. It is an annual, multi-organizational campaign created by ASPEN (American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition) in 2012 to raise awareness about malnutrition. The goal of the week is to educate healthcare professionals on the early detection, prevention, and treatment of malnutrition, and for consumers to discuss their nutrition status with healthcare professionals. It is supported by more than 110 organizations worldwide. While the general public is advised to pay more attention to their nutritional health, webinars are held for medical practitioners to equip them with the knowledge to easily diagnose and handle malnutrition cases.
History of Malnutrition Awareness Week
Malnutrition Awareness Week was launched in 2012 by The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN). ASPEN, founded in 1975 and made official in 1976, is a nonprofit organization whose members are involved in providing clinical nutrition therapies, including parenteral and enteral nutrition. ASPEN is a community of dietitians, pharmacists, nurses, physicians, scientists, students, patients, and caregivers. It has nearly 6,000 members worldwide who are committed to the improvement of patient care by progressing the science and practice of clinical nutrition and metabolism.
Malnutrition Awareness Week began with the objective of educating healthcare specialists about early detection and treatment of malnutrition, teaching people the importance of sharing their nutrition status with healthcare specialists, and creating consciousness of nutrition’s role in an individual’s health. ASPEN works with many ambassadors and sponsors to grow the movement of Malnutrition Awareness Week. To date, the event has reached more than 15.7 million medical practitioners, political leaders, community agencies, patients, and caregivers. Malnutrition Awareness Week is also under the National Health Observances Calendar. This program has gained recognition from U.S. senators, governors, and other groups.
This year in 2022, ASPEN has a movement going on – they seek to have all 50 states recognize the week. Members of the public are called on to sign petitions for the governor of their state to formally declare September 19 to 23, as Malnutrition Awareness Week. The declaration will influence policies and offer opportunities to reach the public on a wider scale.
Malnutrition Awareness Week timeline
The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) launches.
The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition becomes official.
The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition starts the first Malnutrition Awareness Week.
ASPEN rallies the public to sign petitions to make Malnutrition Awareness Week a national event, covering all 50 states.
Malnutrition Awareness Week FAQs
What are the types of malnutrition?
There are four major forms of undernutrition: wasting, stunting, being underweight, and deficiencies in vitamins and minerals.
How can we prevent malnutrition?
The best way to prevent malnutrition is to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
What is the term malnutrition?
Malnutrition is the condition that occurs when the body is denied vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients it needs to maintain healthy tissues and organ function.
How to Observe Malnutrition Awareness Week
Help create awareness about malnutrition
Advertising webinars and workshops on malnutrition awareness to people will encourage their participation. You can also post insightful information about malnutrition on social media, and educate the people around you.
Attend malnutrition awareness events
There is a lot of useful knowledge to apply to yourself and the people around you that can be acquired from attending malnutrition awareness events. Be the first supporter of your own health.
Sign the petition
ASPEN is currently on a mission to make Malnutrition Awareness Week a national event, meaning recognized by all 50 states. Help the good cause by signing the petition to your state governor to publicly declare the event.
5 Interesting Facts About Malnutrition
Malnutrition affects billions of people
Statistics show that two billion people worldwide suffer from malnutrition.
Malnutrition comes in all sizes
People with malnutrition can be both underweight or overweight.
Malnutrition does not discriminate
Malnutrition is a significant problem across the world, including in the U.S — older individuals are exposed to a higher risk of malnutrition.
Malnutrition programs are not costly
Scaling up programs to target malnutrition worldwide would cost only 11.8 billion dollars per year, compared to 618.7 billion dollars spent on the U.S. military expenditures in 2013.
Two-thirds of malnutrition victims live in Asia
Although not the continent with the highest malnutrition rate, two-thirds of those struggling with malnutrition stay in Asia.
Why Malnutrition Awareness Week is Important
Sensitize the public about Malnutrition
Sharing useful information about malnutrition to the public in a dedicated week may encourage everyone to pay more attention to how nutrition plays a role in their general well-being. This in turn will lead to a healthier way of life for all, especially if we find out ways to contribute to others’ well-being.
Healthcare specialists, caregivers, patients, and everyone else acquires useful information from the movement on malnutrition awareness. The more people are aware, the fewer cases of undiagnosed conditions will happen.
Promote good attitude to nutritional health
This week provides a chance for people to recognize how harmful malnutrition can be. It also encourages people to pay attention to their nutrition and care more about getting help for people who need it.
Malnutrition Awareness Week dates