During the month of September, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spotlights malnutrition to increase awareness and underscore the role that RDNs and NDTRs play in its prevention and treatment. As food and nutrition practitioners, we all know what a serious condition this is and how it must be addressed quickly and comprehensively. Our Foundation empowers Academy members with tools and resources we can use to excel in our profession and with the help of our donors, our Foundation has invested significant funds in malnutrition research.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation and dollars raised through its Second Century Member Campaign have funded essential research in the area of malnutrition, including the Academy and ASPEN Indicators to diagnose Malnutrition (AAIM). AAIM is a landmark research project being conducted in 120 pediatric and adult hospital sites in the U.S. that tests the validity of the Malnutrition Clinical Characteristics diagnostic tool and seeks to develop an RDN staffing model that optimizes nutrition care of hospitalized patients. Special thanks goes to the Commission on Dietetic Registration and the Pediatric Nutrition, Clinical Nutrition Management and Renal Dietitians Practice Groups for their generous support of this project.
Another significant study is the Unintended Weight Loss in Older Adults funded by the Dietetics in Healthcare Communities Dietetic Practice Group. This project will result in two systematic reviews focused on assessment of malnutrition in older adults as well as effective interventions for these individuals. Evidence-based practice recommendations will be derived from the systematic reviews for RDNs to use in the treatment and prevention of malnutrition for older adults living in the community or in long term care settings. More information on all the Foundation’s research initiatives can be found here.
Through the support of Abbott Nutrition, our Foundation annually recognizes Academy members who are working in a hospital setting and making significant contributions to improve awareness of and take action to address malnutrition with the Abbott Nutrition Malnutrition Award. Our four 2021 Abbott Nutrition Malnutrition Award winners, including Arelys, are highlighted here.
Receiving the 2021 Abbott Nutrition Malnutrition Award reflects the amazing results of implementing a structured malnutrition project to improve patient outcomes, identification, awareness, and hospital metrics. The improvement in malnutrition awareness has brought the interdisciplinary team to work toward the same goal by getting special attention at each step of the process. This award means so much to me as a champion of the malnutrition initiative in my hospital system.
Arelys Villafane, RDN, LD
2021 Abbott Nutrition Malnutrition Award Recipient
Registered Dietitians play a critical role in diagnosing and treating malnutrition. I am grateful for the tremendous resources our Academy and Foundation provides to help practitioners care for patients and residents every day. Please take advantage of the Academy’s Spotlight on Malnutrition videos, CPE opportunities, Journal articles and links!