ESPEN guidelines on definitions and terminology of clinical nutrition

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Cederholm T, Barazzoni R, Austin P, Ballmer P, Biolo G, Bischoff SC, Compher C, Correia I, Higashiguchi T, Hoist M, Jensen GL, Malone A, Muscaritoli M, Nyulasi I, Pirlich M, Rothenberg E, Schindler K, Schneider SM, De Van Der Schueren MAE, Sieber C, Valentini LI, Yu JC, Van Gossum A, Singer P
Journal: Clinical Nutrition
Publication year: 2017
Volume: 36
Journal issue: 1
Pages range: 49-64
ISSN: 0261-5614


Background: A lack of agreement on definitions and terminology used for nutrition-related concepts and procedures limits the development of clinical nutrition practice and research. Objective: This initiative aimed to reach a consensus for terminology for core nutritional concepts and procedures.Methods: The European Society of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) appointed a consensus group of clinical scientists to perform a modified Delphi process that encompassed e-mail communication, face-to-face meetings, in-group ballots and an electronic ESPEN membership Delphi round.Results: Five key areas related to clinical nutrition were identified: concepts; procedures; organisation; delivery; and products. One core concept of clinical nutrition is malnutrition/undernutrition, which includes disease-related malnutrition (DRM) with (eq. cachexia) and without inflammation, and malnutrition/undernutrition without disease, e.g. hunger-related malnutrition. Over-nutrition (overweight and obesity) is another core concept. Sarcopenia and frailty were agreed to be separate conditions often associated with malnutrition. Examples of nutritional procedures identified include screening for subjects at nutritional risk followed by a complete nutritional assessment. Hospital and care facility catering are the basic organizational forms for providing nutrition. Oral nutritional supplementation is the preferred way of nutrition therapy but if inadequate then other forms of medical nutrition therapy, i.e. enteral tube feeding and parenteral (intravenous) nutrition, becomes the major way of nutrient delivery.Conclusion: An agreement of basic nutritional terminology to be used in clinical practice, research, and the ESPEN guideline developments has been established. This terminology consensus may help to support future global consensus efforts and updates of classification systems such as the International Classification of Disease (ICD). The continuous growth of knowledge in all areas addressed in this statement will provide the foundation for future revisions. (C) 2016 European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Sieber, Cornel Prof. Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Innere Medizin (Geriatrie)

External institutions with authors

Aalborg University
Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS)
Evangelische Elisabeth Klinik
Fujita Health University
Kantonsspital Winterthur (KSW)
Kristianstad University
Medizinische Universität Wien
Mount Carmel West
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen - University of Applied Sciences
Tel Aviv University
The Alfred Hospital
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)
Università degli Studi di Trieste
Università degli studi "La Sapienza"
Universität Hohenheim
Université Nice Sophia Antipolis / University of Nice Sophia Antipolis
University of Pennsylvania
University of Vermont
Uppsala University
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) / University Amsterdam
Vrije Universiteit Brussel

How to cite

Cederholm, T., Barazzoni, R., Austin, P., Ballmer, P., Biolo, G., Bischoff, S.C.,... Singer, P. (2017). ESPEN guidelines on definitions and terminology of clinical nutrition. Clinical Nutrition, 36(1), 49-64.

Cederholm, T., et al. "ESPEN guidelines on definitions and terminology of clinical nutrition." Clinical Nutrition 36.1 (2017): 49-64.


Last updated on 2018-09-11 at 13:08