New BDA partnership tackles malnutrition in Scotland

02 Oct 2020

The British Dietetic Association and Eat Well Age Well, a project from Scottish Charity Food Train, are delighted to announce a new collaboration to tackle malnutrition in Scotland in time for UK Malnutrition Awareness Week 2020. 

Eat Well Age Well is a national project tackling malnutrition in older people living at home in Scotland, first launched in 2017. It draws on research, experience and learning from Food Train, the Scottish Malnutrition Summit, the Scottish Parliament Cross-Party Group on Food and the Malnutrition Task Force. 

The BDA and EWAW are currently working with the Scottish Government to strengthen the narrative on malnutrition and dehydration and why action is needed – including the scale and nature of the problem and the related impact on an individual’s health and wellbeing as well as wider impacts on society.

24% of patients admitted to hospital in Scotland are at risk of, or have, malnutrition; with an even larger number of people living with malnutrition in the community. Older people are at much greater risk, with one in ten of over 65s across the UK suffering or at risk from malnutrition.

BDA Older People Specialist Group Chair Alison Smith RD said “the Food Train and Eat Well Age Well align well with the ethos of the BDA Older People Group. Malnutrition is so often unrecognised, especially with the great deal of focus on obesity. We’ve agreed to work together to develop important resources to help older people living with malnutrition, including alternative ‘eating for health’ guidance for older people”.

Eat Well Age Well Project Manager Laura Cairns said “Eat Well Age Well is committed to action on the prevention, detection and treatment of malnutrition among older people living at home in Scotland. Too many older people’s lives are blighted by this hidden and neglected issue. We are pleased to have committed to work more closely with the BDA for greater collaboration and a stronger voice for action, which is very relevant and timely in Covid-19 landscape.”

  • The British Dietetic Association (BDA), founded in 1936, is the professional association and trade union for dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals with over 9,500 members. 
  • Dietitians are highly qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems at an individual and wider public health level. They are statutorily regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), alongside other Allied Health Professions. 
  • Dietitians use the most up to date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease, which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices. They work in the NHS, private practice, industry, education, research, sport, media and government. Their advice influences food and health policy across the spectrum from government and global industry to local communities and individuals.
  • Food Train is an award-winning charity and social enterprise. Since 1995 it has been making life easier for older people, providing vital services to those no longer able to manage independently, through age, ill health, frailty or disability. 
  • Its Eat Well Age Well project is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. Learn more about its work.

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