Signs of malnutrition

There are several screening tools that can be used to detect if someone is at risk of undernourishment. They will suit different settings and people; it’s important to find the right one for where you work.

For more information about screening tools, see our resources page.

There are other signs to be aware of that may indicate an increased risk of undernutrition. These include difficulties swallowing or problems with dentures, practical difficulties cooking or shopping, or a recent bereavement. There are physical indications that a person might be losing weight, including loose clothing, jewellery or belts.

If you notice any of the above, it is important to initiate a conversation to identify any issues the person might be facing with eating or drinking and to signpost to further screening and support.

Further information for:


Care homes

Community organisations


Domiciliary Care

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