Malnutrition Awareness WeekASPEN logo is October 5-9, 2020, and is hosted by ASPEN (American Society for Parental and Enteral Nutrition). The OAC is a proud partner of ASPEN, so we are helping to spread the word about malnutrition and its impacts.

But did you know that malnutrition and obesity can be linked? Many people don’t understand how this can be because they feel like obesity is the opposite of malnutrition, so we wanted to take a moment and shed some light on this topic.

Malnutrition and Obesity

Malnutrition is the lack of proper nutrition, caused by not having enough to eat, not enough of the right things, or not being able to use the food one eats.

Obesity is linked to malnutrition in 3 main ways:

Some People with Obesity Struggle to Eat Balanced Foods. 

In some people with obesity, getting good nutrition can be a challenge. If a person struggles with issues like eating disorders or emotional eating, it can be difficult to get enough of certain nutrients from types of foods.

Obesity can Decrease the Body’s Levels of Key Nutrients.

The physical impact of excess fat in people with the disease of obesity can make it hard for the body to absorb key nutrients such as vitamin D, chromium, biotin, and Thiamine. In many cases, people may not know about these deficiencies until they show up on their lab work.

Bariatric Surgery Can Contribute to Malnutrition.

Bariatric surgery is an effective and science-based treatment for the disease of obesity. However, patients must follow specific post-op guidelines, which often include taking bariatric vitamins, in order to prevent malnutrition in the long-term after surgery. This is because the digestive tract now absorbs nutrients differently and also allows for less food intake.

In Conclusion

Malnutrition comes in many forms, and in some cases is also linked to obesity. In recognition of Malnutrition Awareness Week, we encourage you to visit ASPEN’s awareness week info to learn more!