Clinical nutrition in primary care: ESPEN position paper

Krznarić Ž., Vranešić Bender D., Blaž Kovač M., Cuerda C., van Ginkel-Res A., Hiesmayr M., ...More

Clinical Nutrition, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Editorial Material
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.clnu.2024.02.017
  • Journal Name: Clinical Nutrition
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, PASCAL, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Disease related malnutrition (DRM), Nutritional care, Primary care, Primary care healthcare professionals (PCHP)
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Primary care healthcare professionals (PCHPs) are pivotal in managing chronic diseases and present a unique opportunity for nutrition-related disease prevention. However, the active involvement of PCHPs in nutritional care is limited, influenced by factors like insufficient education, lack of resources, and time constraints. In this position paper The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) promotes the active engagement of PCHPs in nutritional care. We emphasize the importance of early detection of malnutrition by screening and diagnosis, particularly in all individuals presenting with risk factors such as older age, chronic disease, post-acute disease conditions and after hospitalization for any cause. ESPEN proposes a strategic roadmap to empower PCHPs in clinical nutrition, focusing on education, tools, and multidisciplinary collaboration. The aim is to integrate nutrition into medical curricula, provide simple screening tools for primary care, and establish referral pathways to address malnutrition systematically. In conclusion, we urge for collaboration with PCHP organizations to raise awareness, enhance nutrition skills, facilitate dietitian accessibility, establish multidisciplinary teams, and promote referral pathways, thereby addressing the underestimated clinical challenge of malnutrition in primary care.