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UK Malnutrition Awareness Week

by M&F Health for BAPEN & The Malnutrition Task Force

Summary of work

One in ten people aged over 65 in the UK is malnourished or at risk of malnutrition. Malnutrition in older people is associated with significant health and quality of life impacts as well as being a burden on our health and social care system.

M&F Health, working for the charity BAPEN and the Malnutrition Task Force, created the first ever UK Malnutrition Awareness Week in October 2018. The goals were to help people understand the risk, spot the warning signs, and to understand where to get help and information.

A public survey exposed how little the British public understood about appropriate weight loss in later life. It also revealed dangerous misconceptions about ‘healthy eating’ that might put vulnerable older people at risk. This set the stage for a bold media and social media campaign, and creation of new disease awareness resources to give older people important facts, advice and support. The survey results were shown to key partners in advance to secure their support, and this strategy ensured messages were amplified by trusted third parties.

The campaign had proven results with more people than expected visiting BAPEN’s self-screening tool, discovering their risk status and receiving the appropriate advice.

Judges’ comments

The team delivered truly incredibly work for both a tight budget and limited time frame. It stood out among the others for not only its well targeted approach, but its clear storytelling, which mapped out all of the campaign’s achievements. It was brilliantly thought through and the third party testimonials delivered some innovative messages, which was amplified through the supporting materials.