Posted on: September 30, 2017

ESPEN Congress

The 39th European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) congress took place from the 9 – 12 September in The Hague, The Netherlands.

The international congress was attended by healthcare professionals and academics from over 90 countries; coming together to share and discuss cutting edge research and best practice from around the world.

The congress offered a vast array of scientific and education sessions, with more than 400 abstracts presented over the 4 days, hot topics included:

  • The role of protein
  • Malnutrition in older patients and the ageing population
  • Nutritional support/intervention in wounds, pressure ulcers, respiratory disease, oncology

Sessions of interest:

Nutritional Rehabilitation in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Patients with Muscle Atrophy (NUTRAIN) – Martijn van Beers

COPD patients with muscular atrophy randomised to receive either: high intensity (HI) exercise + ONS enriched with vitamin D, leucine and omega-3 (n=42) OR HI exercise + placebo (n=39) for 4 months. Initial results: nutritional supplementation had additional effect on nutritional status, inspiratory muscle strength, and physical activity level.

Nutritional Counselling with or without Systematic Use of Oral Nutritional Supplements in Head and Neck Cancer Patients Undergoing Radiotherapy – E. Cereda, Italy

Patients were randomised to receive either dietary counselling or dietary counselling + ONS (OD-BD Resource Support Plus) for 12 weeks. ONS group: maintained weight better (s), showed a trend towards increased muscle strength (ns), increased QoL (s) and were more likely to complete treatment.

Dispensing a High Caloric, High Protein Oral Nutritional Supplement 3 Times Daily is Well Tolerated and Increase Compliance in Elderly - C. Koch

Twenty elderly patients in residential homes were provided with 3 × 40 mL of the ONS Fresubin 3.2 kcal Drink, corresponding to 400 kcal and 20 g protein, for 7 days. The study concluded that dispensing a lower volume of an energy dense ONS provides a convenient way to supplement calories and protein with high compliance.

Ketogenic Diet for Cancer Patients – N. Erickson, Germany

This comprehensive systematic review included 15 clinical studies to examine the effect of isocaloric ketogenic diet (KD) dietary regimes on tumour development and progression as well as reduction in side effects of cancer therapy. The review concluded that “more robust and consistent clinical evidence is necessary before the KD can be recommended for any single cancer diagnosis or as an adjunct therapy”.

Randomised Trial Shows Low Volume Energy Dense Oral Nutritional Supplements Improve Total Nutritional Intake with Little Suppression of Food Intake in Malnourished Free Living Older People – T. Smith, UK

Patients received either ready-made, low volume ONS + dietary advice or dietary advice for 12 weeks. The study found that the use of low volume, energy dense ONS improve total nutritional intake with little suppression of food intake in malnourished free living older people.

Compatibility study with a natural food-based tube food - S. Schmidt, Germany

Neurology patients received either natural food-based tube food (NFTF) or standard tube feed; data was collected to look at the incidence of low consistency stools or diarrhoea. Use of NFTF resulted in reduced incidence of low consistency stools compared to standard tube feed.

Taste and Food Intake in Older Adults – E. Doets, The Netherlands

  • Results from a taste panel of 700 older adults in the Netherlands
  • Hyposomic older adults preferred protein enriched products
  • Both normo and hyposomic adults liked products more when given information on how/why they were good for them
  • Of all protein enriched drinks offered, those that were sweeter and thicker were preferred
  • Packaging has a big impact on liking score e.g. ease of opening
  • Multi-sensory factors involved in liking – improving taste alone had no significant effect on liking, whereas improving taste together with texture did

For more information about ESPEN, visit

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