- low mood
- reduced energy levels
- reduced muscle strength
- reduced quality of life
- difficulty with carrying out daily activities
- increased risk of illness and infection
- slower wound healing
- increased risk of falls
The body needs a range of nutrients to keep it working well. If you, or someone you care for, does not eat enough of the right nutrients there is a risk of becoming malnourished. When a person loses their appetite it can become a struggle to eat enough food to provide the energy and protein to meet their nutrition needs and maintain their body weight.
Malnutrition can cause:
You can check whether you, or someone you know, are risk using this MUST (Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool) calculator.
It is important to deal with any underlying problems which cause weight loss or poor dietary intake.
Appetite can be affected by many different factors, e.g. low mood/depression, medication, constipation, problems relating to physical health. There can be physical limitations such as swallowing problems, poor tooth health or poorly fitting dentures. People with limited mobility or issues with their memory may benefit from support with shopping for and preparing meals.
A nourishing diet
NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde has developed advice to help support a nourishing diet. In general we would recommend the following:
For more detailed advice please click the tiles below.
Do I need supplement drinks (oral nutritional supplements ONS) to gain weight?
Most people do not require supplement drinks to help them gain weight or maintain their weight at a healthy level. For those who do require this treatment it is usually short term (3- 6 months) and after this time the large majority of people can manage their weight and nutritional status with diet alone. Supplement drinks are prescribable products and strict criteria (known as ACBS criteria) must be followed for you to receive these products. If you do not meet this criteria there are similar over the counter products that can be purchased in community pharmacies, shops and supermarkets. A list of these products is available above.
Prescribed supplement drinks should only be taken if advised by a Dietitian.