Domain 2. Nutrition
Class 1. Ingestion
Diagnostic Code: 00002
Nanda label: Imbalanced nutrition: less than body requirements
Diagnostic focus: Balanced nutrition
Nursing diagnosis is a vital component in the nursing process. It involves focusing on health and healing information related to the individual, family, or community and developing strategies to improve their wellbeing and quality of life. A nursing diagnosis of Imbalanced Nutrition Less Than Body Requirements occurs when a person does not consume enough nutrients for their body’s needs. This form of malnutrition has both physical and psychological implications.
NANDA Nursing Diagnosis Definition
The NANDA (North American Nursing Diagnosis Association) defines Imbalanced Nutrition as “intake of food that does not meet the needs of the body” (NANDA, 2019). It is more commonly known as malnourishment. Malnourishment can be caused by many factors, such as poor eating habits, depression, socioeconomic status, or lifestyle choices. When a person is malnourished, they are predisposed to various health conditions, such as weak bones and muscles, fatigue, slow wound healing, and susceptibility to infections (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020).
If a person has Imbalanced Nutrition Less Than Body Requirements, they may encounter the following subjective indicators:
- Low energy levels
- Difficulty concentrating
- Lack of appetite
The objective indicators of Imbalanced Nutrition Less Than Body Requirements include:
- Weight loss
- Dry skin
- Thin hair
The underlying causes of Imbalanced Nutrition Less Than Body Requirements can differ from individual to individual. Factors that play a role in the development of malnourishment can range from lifestyle choices to circumstances out of a person’s control.
- Poor eating habits: People who do not possess the necessary knowledge about good nutrition can suffer from malnourishment. Poor eating habits can also arise from unhealthy coping mechanisms such as overeating or anorexia nervosa.
- Depression: Depression can lead to changes in appetite or a lack thereof, causing a decrease in food intake.
- Socioeconomic status: Those living in poverty are more vulnerable to malnourishment due to limited access to healthy, affordable food options.
- Lifestyle habits: Long working hours or busy schedules can lead to exhaustion and decreased physical activity which can result in malnourishment.
Certain individuals are at greater risk of suffering from Imbalanced Nutrition Less Than Body Requirements due to their unique lifestyles. These populations include:
- Infants: Breast-fed infants must receive adequate nutrition for development, growth, and protection from infection.
- Children: Children require essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients for proper growth, development, and learning. Malnourishment in children can lead to developmental delays.
- Elderly: Older adults may have difficulty with shopping and cooking and/or suffer from depression or dementia, putting them at higher risk for malnourishment.
Malnourishment can have far-reaching impacts on a person’s health. People who are not receiving the necessary nutrition are more susceptible to the following conditions:
- Weak bones and muscles
- Low blood pressure
- Immune system deficiencies
- Slow wound healing
- Susceptibility to infections and diseases
Suggestions for Use
In order to identify and treat Imbalanced Nutrition, nurses should have a full understanding of nutrition, risk factors, and warning signs. Assessing a patient’s overall nutritional status is the first step in determining any necessary changes in diet or lifestyle habits. Nurses should also be attentive to the individual’s symptoms and signs and collaborate with other healthcare professionals for any interventions or further assessments.
Suggested Alternative NANDA Nursing Diagnosis
The following NANDA nursing diagnosis can also be used when assessing a patient’s nutritional needs:
- Imbalanced Nutrition: More Than Body Requirements: Occurs when a person consumes too much food and puts their health at risk.
- Risk for Imbalanced Nutrition: Less Than Body Requirements: Occurs when a person is at risk for not consuming enough food, resulting in malnourishment.
- Risk for Imbalanced Nutrition: More Than Body Requirements: Occurs when a person is at risk for consuming too much food, resulting in health complications.
When implementing a nursing diagnosis of Imbalanced Nutrition Less Than Body Requirements, the primary goal is to help the patient attain optimal nutrition. Nurses should strive to educate the patient andthe their caretakers on important topics such as healthy eating and lifestyle changes. Furthermore, nurses should be familiar with available resources such as food banks and nutritional support services to ensure access to adequate nutrition.
The NOC (Nursing Outcomes Classification) outcomes for a nursing diagnosis of Imbalanced Nutrition Less Than Body Requirements include:
- Nutritional Status: Ability of the individual to consume sufficient amounts of nutrients to maintain a healthy weight and prevent nutrient deficiencies
- Tissue Integrity: Maintaining the integrity of cells and tissues by providing them with proper nutrients
- Food and Fluid Intake: Taking in appropriate quantities of food and fluid orally
- Body Weight: Balancing body weight in accordance with the patient’s age, gender, height, and build
Evaluation Objectives and Criteria
For a successful outcome of a nursing diagnosis of Imbalanced Nutrition Less Than Body Requirements, the following objectives must be reached:
- Increased knowledge of balanced nutrition
- Accurate daily calorie intake
- Increased use of healthy eating habits
- Enhanced understanding of food label manipulation
- Improved access to food sources and nutrition support services
NIC (Nursing Interventions Classification) interventions to administer with a nursing diagnosis of Imbalanced Nutrition Less Than Body Requirements include:
- Nutrition Education: Educating patients on balanced nutrition and healthy eating habits.
- Assess Nutritional Status: Performing assessments to evaluate the patient’s current level of nutrition and plan for interventions accordingly.
- Promote Fluid Balance: Suggesting healthy beverages, recommending intake times, and monitoring fluid balance.
- Monitor Oral Intake: Observing and recording the volumes of food and fluids consumed orally.
- Referral Network Support: Referring the patient to non-profit organizations and local services to provide assistance with nutrition.
Nurses should strive to identify, assess, and intervene the best they can while caring for a patient with a health diagnosis of Imbalanced Nutrition Less Than Body Requirements. The following activities should be carried out by a nurse during the course of care:
- Perform an initial and subsequent patient assessments to assess current wellness, nutrition levels, and lifestyle habits.
- Educate the patient about healthy nutrition and the importance of balanced meals.
- Work with providers to develop custom meal plans and supplement recommendations.
- Help the patient access food sources, supplement assistance programs, and nutrition support services.
Nursing diagnosis of Imbalanced Nutrition Less Than Body Requirements is a very common issue among individuals of all different ages and backgrounds. Being mindful of your individual needs and knowing the signs of malnourishment is the key to making sure you are getting the nutrients necessary for a healthy, balanced lifestyle. With the right education and attention, nurses can work together to ensure that their patients have access to the nutrition they need to live their best lives.
- What is considered malnourishment? Malnourishment occurs when a person does not take in enough nutrients for their body’s needs.
- What groups are at risk of malnourishment? Infants, children, elderly, and those living in poverty are all at an increased risk of malnourishment.
- Who should assess a patient’s nutrition level? It is important to have a full understanding of nutrition, risk factors, and warning signs in order to properly assess a patient’s nutritional needs. Nurses should collaborate with other healthcare professionals for any interventions or further assessments.
- What activities might a nurse perform to help a patient with malnourishment? Nurses should strive to identify, assess, and intervene the best they can while caring for a patient with malnourishment. The following activities should be performed: performing patient assessments, educating the patient about healthy nutrition and the importance of balanced meals, working with providers to develop custom meal plans, and helping the patient access food sources and nutrition support services.
- What are the goals of a nursing diagnosis of Imbalanced Nutrition Less Than Body Requirements? The primary goal is to help the patient attain optimal nutrition. Nurses should strive to educate the patient and their caretakers on important topics such as healthy eating and lifestyle changes. Furthermore, nurses should be familiar with available resources such as food banks and nutritional support services to ensure access to adequate nutrition.