“Covid has demonstrated role in nutrition, increase unity in hospitals”

Increase the number of operational units dedicated to dietetics and clinical nutrition in Italian hospitals, also thanks to the injection of resources from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. This is the appeal of the ADI, which has chosen Covid-19 and obesity among the key themes of the first days of its 24th National Congress, scheduled until 23 October at the Nuvola Lavazza in Turin. The Italian Association of Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition, the first association born in Italy (1950), addressed the problems of nutrition with debates and focuses, also in the light of the coronavirus pandemic; two apparently distinct phenomena, yet related from both a clinical and a social point of view.

“The Sars-CoV-2 pandemic has shown with full evidence that malnutrition, both by excess and by defect, pre-existing or concomitant with viral infection, constituted an unfavorable prognostic factor in all patients, regardless of gender and ‘age – underlines Giuseppe Malfi, president of Adi – The scenario of complexity and unpredictability with which we found ourselves operating during the most acute phases of the pandemic has brought out even more how much the role of clinical nutrition is fundamental in the multi-professional and integrated management of Covid patients, but also of all hospitalization areas of health facilities “.

“The survey carried out by ADI to monitor nutritional assistance to Covid patients, between April and July 2020 unfortunately gave amazing results – highlights Carmela Bagnato, Adi secretary – 80% of patients were not weighed, many are not No nutritional screening was carried out to detect the state of malnutrition, both in excess and in deficiency, although all the guidelines indicate how important support for proper nutrition is for the outcome of the disease. It has been proven that malnutrition has worsened the progress of the disease. The obese, for example, were the patients who most died from Covid-19 “.

During the Adi National Congress the fundamental role of malnutrition was reiterated also in the spread of chronic non-communicable diseases. “Obesity was recognized as a disease in 2019 at the Chamber of Deputies – recalls Malfi – This is a premise for establishing adequate diagnostic paths throughout the country. 10% of the Italian population is obese, and the role of obesity it is fundamental in determining the spread and mortality of a chronic non-communicable disease. Malnutrition by defect, which we define as a ‘disease within a disease’ should not be neglected: in the context of hospitalization it can worsen the prognosis of diseases of hospitalized patients in many disciplines, both medical and surgical. The treatment of malnutrition at the hospital level is therefore very important to promote the recovery of patients and reduce the costs associated with a prolonged stay in hospitals “.

Adi experts reiterated how the Clinical Dietetics and Nutrition Operational Unit should be the reference within a multidisciplinary approach in the management of all hospitalized patients and above all in prevention, to safeguard both the health of the population and that of the planet. thanks to the application of procedures aimed in the first case to identify patients at risk of malnutrition due to excess or deficiency or already malnourished, in the second to reduce food waste.

“The constant presence of an operational unit of dietetics and clinical nutrition within a hospital, with an adequately trained nutritional team and catering service – underlines the president Adi – allows us to offer patients healthy, palatable and convenient food. therapeutic value, and consequently reduce hospitalization times and therefore the costs on the national health system. Unfortunately, diseases such as obesity, diabetes or malnutrition, unlike Covid, will not diminish with the use of a vaccine, but on the contrary, without adequate prevention and treatment plans they will increase more and more. For this reason we hope that part of the funds of the NRP for health will be allocated to the increase and enhancement of clinical nutrition services throughout the country and to the development of educational interventions as well as on schools also on families, so that they make the pantry more Mediterranean and acquire greater awareness of the excessive consumption of products does not know lutari “.


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