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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 …

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