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Why assess food intake?




Undernutrition affects at least 5% of elderly at home, 30 % of elderly in nursing homes, and 30 to 50% of hospitalized patients(1). Undernutrition could affect clinical outcome in multiple ways by increasing:
        infections
        post operative complications
        pressure sores
        toxicity of treatments (eg. chemotherapy, radiotherapy)
        mortality
        length of hospital stay
        health care costs.



Undernutrition could worsen during the hospital stay in the absence of specific treatment(2). Data suggest that delaying by 48 hours the treatment of undernutrition could increase by 24 hours the duration of hospital stay(3).



The decrease in food intake, which is reported by 69% of hospitalized patients(4) is strongly associated with the risk of undernutrition.



Early detection of the risk of undernutrition is a major public health issue, and the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) recommends an early and systematic detection of undernutrition for all hospitalized patients(5).



SEFI®, the tool for food intake assessment, allows the early detection of the risk of undernutrition.

The use of an analogue scale is recommended by the experts of the French speaking Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (SFNEP) to assess patients’ food intake(6).



6. Senesse P et al. SFNEP oncology nutrition guidelines: Summary of statement. Nutr Clin Metab 2012;26:151–158.