The $2 Billion Problem in Our Hospitals: Canadian Malnutrition Week

Left untreated, malnutrition results in extended hospital stays that cost the healthcare system an estimated $2 billion a year

OTTAWA, Sept. 26, 2016 /CNW/ - Today marks the beginning of Canadian Malnutrition Week, which runs from Monday, September 26th to Friday, September 30th. During this week experts from the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force (CMTF) will be raising public awareness and advocating for the improvement of prevention, detection, and treatment of malnutrition in our hospitals.

CMTF is a group of clinicians, decision makers and investigators forming a standing committee of the Canadian Nutrition Society (CNS). The CMTF aims to reduce malnutrition by promoting nutrition care knowledge and optimal practice through research and education activities focused on preventing, detecting and treating malnutrition in Canada.

Malnutrition is a $2 billion problem in Canadian hospitals which has drastic consequences for patients, families, and taxpayers. When individuals are left untreated for malnutrition, they lose muscle and general functions essential for recovery. Malnutrition results in longer hospital stays for patients, higher costs of care for each individual, and higher incidence of readmission. Currently identification of malnourished patients on admission is haphazard and most malnourished patients are discharged in the same or a poorer state.

"In Canada, a malnourished patient's cost of care is approximately $2000 more than a well-nourished patient's care," states Bridget Davidson, Executive Director of CMTF. "Malnutrition typically extends hospital days for up to 3 days," Davidson continues "and it is proven that malnourished patients are at higher risk of hospital readmission within 30 days."

In communities across Canada, CMTF researchers, already play an important role in helping relieve the Canadian health care system of the burden of malnutrition though groundbreaking research and pilot projects. Professor Heather Keller, Schlegel Research Chair in Nutrition & Aging, lead the development of an algorithm for the detection, treatment, and monitoring of malnutrition among acute care medical and surgical patients. With this tool, healthcare providers can easily identify malnourished patients upon entry to hospitals.

The Canadian Malnutrition Task Force (CMTF) is a group of clinicians, decision makers and investigators forming a standing committee of the Canadian Nutrition Society (CNS).


SOURCE Canadian Malnutrition Task Force

For further information: Rob LeForte, CMTF Public Affairs, Telephone: 613-233-8906, Email:; Ashley Rensler, CMTF Public Affairs, Telephone: 647-317-9057, Email:

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