Nutrition in Practice: Chronic Conditions

Aged Care 

Including a malnutrition case study, this document provides an overview of intervention in malnutrition and the benefits of nutritional supplements.

Chronic disease in the elderly can worsen nutritional status due to factors such as limited mobility, shortness of breath or an inability to prepare food.

Incorporating nutritional risk screening into your clinical management of elderly patients can make it easier to detect risk factors early and implement interventions to improve health outcomes.

Oral nutritional supplements are a simple and cost effective intervention that can address macro- and micro-nutrient deficiencies, promoting weight gain and improving nutritional status.1

Nestlé Health Science offers a range of products which supplement patients’ nutritional needs.

A Case Study: Kenneth - 75 Years Old, COPD

Kenneth suffers from moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and uses a ventolin pump.

Although Kenneth is able to access the local supermarket, he has been unable to cook for himself since his wife passed away.

Kenneth has a small appetite and has noticed that his clothes have become increasingly loose on him; his BMI is currently 19 kg/m2. He had an exacerbation of his COPD 2 months ago, but has since recovered.

Identifying Kenneth’s Malnutrition Risk

Kenneth’s MNA®-SF score is 7, indicating malnutrition. Kenneth’s increased nutritional needs due to his age and COPD are not met by his reduced dietary intake. The resulting weight loss is putting him at risk of complications, infection and hospitalisation. Arresting the weight loss and encouraging access to support services are important first steps in assisting Kenneth to better manage his COPD.

Malnutrition: The Role of Intervention

As part of his GP management plan, Kenneth is referred to a dietitian to help develop a meal plan, and is encouraged to contact his local council to access support with meal preparation.

Most councils provide information about community services in the area, including assistance with the preparation of meals. To address his diet and weight loss, Kenneth is provided a copy of the Nestlé Food First brochure, and is advised to begin supplementing his meals with one serve of Resource® 2.0 + Fibre per day.

Resource® 2.0 + Fibre is a high energy, high protein oral supplement which can be used to boost intake of micro- and macro-nutrients necessary in chronic diseases such as COPD. The high energy and protein content helps prevent weight loss and maintain muscle mass. This supplement is available in five flavours, in a convenient re-sealable bottle.

Resource® 2.0 + Fibre is available for home delivery throughout Australia.

To find a distributor near you, call 1-800-671628.

Monitoring Kenneth’s Nutritional Progress

At the 3-month follow-up visit, Kenneth’s weight has stabilised. He is now receiving help with meal preparation and has one meal a day provided by Meals on Wheels. Overall, Kenneth feels better; he is more mobile and his COPD is being better managed.

As a result of the interventions, Kenneth’s MNA®-SF score is now 9, signalling an improvement towards normal nutritional status. For more information on Resource® 2.0 + Fibre click here and Resource® Protein click here


1. Clinical Epidemiology and Health Services Evaluation Unit, Melbourne Health, Best practice approaches to minimize functional decline in the older person across the acute, sub-acute and residential aged care settings, Victorian Government Department of Human Services, Melbourne, 2004, Viewed 29 July 2009,

2. Nestlé Health Science product information, viewed online 2 September 2009, Sustagen-Hospital-Formula

® Société des Produits Nestlé, S.A., Vevey, Switzerland, Trademark Owners.​

© Nestlé, 1994, Revision 2006, N67200 12/99 10M

For more information :​​