Unintentional weight loss


An individual is Malnourished if there is:


•       a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5 kg/m2

•       unintentional weight loss greater than 10% within the last 3–6 months

•       a BMI of less than 20 kg/m2 and unintentional weight loss greater than 5% within the last 3–6 months.


An individual is at Risk of being Malnourished if :

•       They have eaten little or nothing for more than 5 days and/or are likely to eat little or nothing for 5 days or longer

•       They have poor absorptive capacity and/or high nutrient losses and/or increased nutritional needs from causes such as catabolism.

Prior to referral please undertake MUST( Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool) 



Useful resources:


Six steps to appropriate prescribing/flow chart link

Quick Reference formulary

Provide first line advice Making the most of your food

Homemade fortified drinks


Refer to dietitian if:

·         Patient has not responded to first line advice over a 2 month period