Impact of oral nutrition supplements on Overall appetite – a New systematic review

A new systematic review and meta-analysis has examined the effectiveness of ONS on overall appetite in older adults with anorexia of aging (AA).1 The review, which identified 17 randomised controlled trials for inclusion, found that oral nutrition supplements (ONS) can help improve overall appetite (p= 0.02) and consumption (p=0.05) ) in older adults with AA. This challenges the perception that the consumption of ONS may lead to reduced food intake.1

Anorexia of aging and malnutrition

Anorexia of aging, is a decrease in appetite and/or food intake in old age.1 It can lead to adverse health outcomes and is a major cause of malnutrition, which affects up to 2 in 3 adults living in aged care facilities.1-3 Similar to malnutrition, anorexia of aging can be caused by reduced food intake, however malnutrition can also be caused by nutrient malabsorption and/or losses and disease-associated inflammation.4 Malnutrition effects every organ system in the body leading to increased hospitalisation and healthcare costs.4

Effective treatment of malnutrition

When ONS are used as part of treatment for malnutrition, ESPEN^ guidelines recommend:

  • Tailor the type and flavour of ONS to the patient’s taste and eating capacities2
  • Offer a variety of ONS options to avoid taste fatigue2
  • Assess ONS on a monthly basis to help aid optimal compliance2

Compliance with oral nutrition supplements is key to good malnutrition management. Several factors influence whether the patient consumes their prescribed supplements, and this can present a challenge to healthcare professionals.5

Research has shown that compliance can be improved by offering higher density ONS (greater than 2kcal/mL) when compared to lower energy density. In addition, offering the ONS in smaller volumes and varying the flavour can help encourage consumption of prescribed ONS. help.5

Introducing Delical

The Delical range offers a variety of great tasting oral nutritional supplements for individuals who are unable to meet their nutritional needs through diet alone, combining nutrition with great taste. Delical Concentrate is a great tasting high calorie, high protein supplement which means smaller volumes may be required to meet nutritional needs.

Delical Concentrate provides:

  • 452 kcal (2.3kCal per mL) and 29 grams protein per 200mL serving
  • Tastes like no other – with a range of flavours to suit different palates
  • IDDSI level:
    2 – Mildly Thick
    3 – Moderately Thick (when chilled)

Concentrated ONS may help improve compliance.5 With better compliance comes less waste.5

References: 1. Li, M. et al 2021 Nutrients.Mar 3;13(3):835 2. Volkert D, et al 2019 Clin Nutr. Feb;38(1):10-47. 3. DAA Malnutrition Guideline Steering Committee, 2009, Nutrition & Dietetics, 66: S1-S34 4. Saunders J & Smith T. Clinical Medicine 2010 Dec;10(6):624-7 5. Hubbard GP, et al. 2012, Clin Nutr 31(3):293-312.

^European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism