13th European Nutrition Conference
At first glance 'Malnutrition in an obese world‘ may sound contradictory. However, a low muscle mass (associated with low muscle strength) is frequently associated with obesity in cases of disabilities and concomitant diseases, as well as after severe weight loss, which is at the cost of both losses in fat mass and muscle mass. Sarcopenia (i.e. low muscle mass and muscle strength) is a considerable risk factor of increased mortality, which is independent of its cause. Thus, defining sarcopenia and screening for it are mandatory in every obese patient. In addition, public health measures against people becoming overweight and treatment of the obese patient need a broader focus on both fat mass and muscle mass. Whilst fat mass reflects the so-called 'metabolic load‘, muscle mass is a measure of 'metabolic capacity'. The balance between these two measures rather than fat mass alone characterizes a healthy body weight and also defines metabolic risk. Therefore, maintaining or improving muscle mass and muscle function has to be seen together with controlling or reducing fat mass, thus aiming at an optimal balance between the two for better health. To summarize, 'Malnutrition in an obese world‘ is a timely, challenging and hot topic, which is stimulating new thinking on improved concepts in clinical nutrition.
We hope you enjoy this collection of papers, which we feel encapsulate this theme.