Latest news

30 August 2016

Dutch national undernutrition screening survey: patients with a positive undernutrition screening score stay 1.4 day longer in hospital

In The Netherlands, screening on undernutrition at admission is common practice in hospitals,...

30 August 2016

Meet the Dutch Malnutrition Steering Group!

Next week, the Dutch approach on malnutrition will be presented at the ICD congress in...

29 August 2015

Dutch ESPEN posters on malnutrition

Next ESPEN congress, 21 posters and abstracts will be presented by Dutch researchers on...

Over the last five years, the combined Dutch efforts to fight malnutrition have led to gradually decreasing malnutrition prevalence rates in all health care settings in the Netherlands.


This website gives a short overview of the combined activities of

  • the Dutch Malnutrition Steering Group (DMG),
  • the Dutch Annual Measurement of Care Problems (LPZ),
  • the Dutch Ministry of Health,  and
  • the Dutch Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (NESPEN)

 in the fight against malnutrition.

By sharing our knowledge, we hope that other European countries can learn from our experiences, use our methods and tools  as well as use our action plans to fight malnutrition in their own countries.

Since every European country is unique, this website does not offer the one and only way to tackle malnutrition. Therefore, the material on this website can be adapted to your local situation. 




Prevalence rates of malnutrition in hospitalized patients vary from 25-40%. Still, malnutrition goes by undetected and untreated. Since 2007, fifty percent of all Dutch hospitals have participated in our stepwise implementation programme to improve screening and treatment of malnutrition in hospitals. Other hospitals were welcome to use our methodology, depending on their wishes for support.

As a result, approximately 80% of all hospitalized patients in the Netherlands are screened on malnutrition within the first 24 hours after admission to hospital. About half of them meet their individual nutritional requirements by the fourth day of admission.

We have developed a system of continuous data collection and feedback to improve those data. Our implementation project has won the prize for the best implementation project in Dutch healthcare.

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Residents of nursing homes are fragile due to old age and,  for instance, chronic illness. Malnutrition can worsen the overall health condition and functionality.  Dutch prevalence data show that 25%  of the Dutch residents in nursing homes are malnourished.

Quick and easy screening on malnutrition in the nursing home setting

In Dutch nursing homes, all residents are screened at admission and every 6 months with the SNAQRC  (Short Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire for Residential Care).  The screening and treatment plan with the tools that are needed to implement this, are available on this page.




In home care patients, the prevalence of malnutrition is estimated to range between 17 and 35%; prevalence appears to be highest in older individuals. Unfortunately, nutritional status is only assessed in 16% of the home care patients and in only 5% a validated screening instrument is used.

In September 2008, the Dutch Malnutrition Steering Group started a three-year's project to improve screening and treatment of malnutrition in primary care and home care. This project consists of different phases:

  • development of a screening instrument for quick and easy screening of malnutrition in home care
  • development of a toolkit (multidisciplinary treatment protocol, workbook, patient information)
  • implementation of the toolkit at several locations in the Netherlands
  • development of the ‘National Primary Care Cooperation Agreement Undernutrition’
  • a (cost)effectiveness study

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