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Almost a fifth of children admitted to Dutch hospitals have acute or chronic malnutrition; risk factors include underlying disease and non-white ethnicity

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Definition and prevalence of malnutrition

This very important study examined the prevalence of malnutrition in children in Dutch hospitals. Malnutrition includes disorders of nutrition status resulting from a deficiency of nutrient intake, impaired nutrient metabolism, or overnutrition.1 In this article, the authors specifically examined undernutrition.

Undernutrition in children is a common problem around the world. In low-income countries, the prevalence of undernutrition is estimated at 8–43%.2 In hospitals, the rate is even higher. In high-income countries, the prevalence of undernutrition in hospitalized children is around 6–19%.3,4 Undernourished children are at higher risk for improper physical and psychological development2,5 and may have permanent mental and physical disabilities as they age.6

Review of study

In this article, researchers investigated the prevalence of undernutrition in …

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