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The daily metabolism of children is dependent on receiving substrates such as food and vitamins and insufficient consumption of these essential nutrients significantly affects growth of the children. It has been observed that sick children, especially those who require hospitalization, are likely to be affected by nutritional deterioration. Numerous studies have highlighted the prevalence of malnutrition in hospitalized children, due to lack of medical nutrition therapies. In medical nutrition therapy performed in this study, the nutritionist calculated the patients daily requirement to calorie intake, carbohydrate, fat, and protein.
Based on these data, the nutritionist recorded medical nutrition therapies in the patients records, including the determination of the efficient feeding route.
The current trial was conducted in tertiary level children hospitals for 1 year from 2016 to 2017. Questionnaire as assessment form was prepared which included five questions and, in the presence of even one positive response, nutritional interventions were prescribed for the patients.
The results claimed that the study enrolled a total of 65 children aged ≥ 5 years who were hospitalized for ≥ 2 days. Out of these, 24.6% of patients had 2 >BMI Z-score>-2 at the time of admission. At the beginning of the study, weight loss > 10%, and appetite loss was seen in 10.8% and 20% of the children, respectively. Median body mass index (BMI) percentile of patients with nutritional intervention showed a remarkable difference, 8.9 at the beginning of the study and 12.7 at discharge time.
Therefore, it can be concluded that children who get hospitalized suffer from weight loss and loss of appetite. Medical nutrition therapy should be employed for such children to prevent impairment of nutritional status during hospitalization. These interventions can aid in stabilizing indices of nutritional status.
Source: Malek A, Hashemi M, Anjomrooz M, Torabi P, Imani B. Malnutrition and medical nutrition therapy in hospitalized children: a case study of using national malnutrition screening tools in northeastern Iran. Afr Health Sci. 2019;19(1):1566-1573.