National Standard on Malnutrition Prevention, Detection and Treatment

Health Standards Organization (HSO) and the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force (CMTF) partner to address Malnutrition with new National Standard on Malnutrition Prevention, Detection and Treatment

OTTAWA – Sept. 16, 2021 Health Standards Organization (HSO) and the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force (CMTF), a standing committee of the Canadian Nutrition Society (CNS), are proud to officially release the new Malnutrition Prevention, Detection and Treatment standard (CAN/HSO 5066:2021), which is a National Standard of Canada. The standard is now available for purchase on HSO’s E-Store.

Malnutrition in hospitals is a serious and widespread problem that is often not detected, diagnosed or treated. Within Canada, there is a high prevalence of malnutrition, with up to half of hospitalized patients reported to be in a malnourished state. Hospital malnutrition is considered to be a patient safety issue around the world.

The new standard aims to help hospitals improve inpatient outcomes for adults and children by providing guidance to acute care organizations on multimodal nutrition care; nutrition risk screening and assessment; standardized, advanced and specialized nutrition care; early mobilization; and transitions of care. For patients and families, the standard aims to provide services to help detect, prevent and treat malnutrition. It aims to better inform patients on whether they are malnourished and if so, how to improve their nutrition prior to leaving the hospital.

“We are pleased and privileged to develop and release this standard with HSO and are excited about its potential to improve outcomes,” said Roseann Nasser, MSc, RD, CNSC, FDC and Co-Chair of CMTF. “We would like to see it adopted in hospitals across Canada. Food is medicine.”

“CNS continues to be proud of the achievements of CMTF and the global leadership it demonstrates to tackle malnutrition,” said Dr. Alison Duncan, PhD, RD, FDC and President of CNS. “This standard will have a positive impact both within Canada and around the world.”

“This new standard will enable healthcare providers to better recognize and manage malnutrition, ultimately resulting in improved outcomes for acutely ill patients in hospital and as they return home,” said Dr. Brian Wheelock, MD, FRCSC, Assistant Professor of Surgery at Dalhousie University and Chair of HSO’s Malnutrition Technical Committee.

The development of this standard was led by CMTF, who worked with an HSO Working Group and Technical Committee made up of patients and family members, clinicians and health service administrators, government health services stakeholders and researchers.


For more information on this standard, please contact For media enquiries at CMTF/CNS, please contact For media enquiries at HSO, please contact

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