Rushden dietitian talks malnutrition as she shares more of her knowledge on eating well during the pandemic

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There are approximately three million people in the UK who are malnourished or at risk at malnutrition

An expert on diet and nutrition is urging people to look out for signs of malnutrition during the pandemic.

Dr Mabel Blades of Rushden is a registered dietitian and nutritionist with a PhD in diet and diabetes.

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She has her own business, Nutrition and Dietetic Services, after working in the NHS for many years and now does consultancy as well as writing books.

Eating well is so important, especially during the pandemicEating well is so important, especially during the pandemic
Eating well is so important, especially during the pandemic

Dr Blades has been sharing her knowledge with the Northants Telegraph in recent months, helping us make good use of the food in our cupboards and offering advice on getting a balanced diet during the pandemic.

This week she is talking about malnutrition.

Dr Blades told the Northants Telegraph: "Many think that malnutrition is not an issue, but there are approximately three million people in the UK who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition; 93 per cent are living in their own home.

"Malnutrition is defined as 'a state of nutrition in which a deficiency, excess or imbalance of energy, protein, and other nutrients causes adverse effects on body function.'

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"There are numerous consequences associated with malnutrition which includes weight loss, impaired temperature control due to the loss of insulating body fat, increased muscle loss

(sarcopenia) plus weakness and fatigue, apathy, depression and self- neglect, impaired immune function, increased tissue breakdown and poor wound healing, osteoporosis and

increased risk of fracture, constipation, and anaemia.

"With the Covid situation people who are isolating may lose enjoyment of foods as they cannot eat out with others and feel of a low mood because of the situation and winter days.

"There is an excellent tool that can be used to assess malnutrition called the Malnutrition Screening Tool (MUST) and is based on simple steps of body mass index and unintentional

weight loss in the last three to six months.

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"If you are concerned about yourself or someone do check it out."

To use it click here.

To read more from Dr Blades about eating well during the pandemic, click here for her piece on tinned foods or follow her on Twitter @blades_mabel

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