Two obvious signs of malnutrition are increases or decreases in appetite or weight.

Some less obvious warning signs include:

  • Dull, dry hair
  • Dry eyes
  • Receding gums
  • Confusion
  • Loss of sensation
  • Physical weakness
  • Bruising easily
  • Slow healing of wounds
  • Problems with your mouth or teeth

Signs of dehydration (inadequate intake of liquids) include:

  • Decreased urination
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Dry mucous membranes (for example, dry mouth)

Researchers have found that people in long-term facilities who regularly leave more than a quarter of their food on the plate at the end of a meal are at high risk of being undernourished.

Last Updated August 2020