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Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan: MNI and SNE call for nutritional care to be an integral part of cancer care


04 Feb 2020


Health & Consumers

4 February 2020 – Brussels, Belgium – The Medical Nutrition International Industry (MNI) and Specialised Nutrition Europe (SNE) welcome the European Commission initiative ‘Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan’ aiming to tackle the second leading cause of mortality in the European Union.

MNI and SNE call upon the European Commission to make nutritional interventions an integral part of cancer care in the ‘Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan’.

1 in 3 cancer patients are malnourished1. Malnutrition in cancer patients results in poorer health outcomes, such as reduced tolerance to anticancer therapy, higher risk of complications and infections, as well as increased mortality.

Furthermore, malnutrition leads to an increased burden on healthcare resources, including longer hospital stay2 and additional costs, estimated to be €17 billion per year in the European Union3. Nutritional care should be considered as an integral part of disease management in order to reduce healthcare expenditure.

MNI infographic on cancer outlines why nutritional care is important for cancer patients and provides five recommendations to advance cancer care:

  • Screen all cancer patients for malnutrition to provide nutritional care in a timely manner
  • Implement existing clinical guidelines on nutritional care for cancer patients
  • Provide equal access to and reimbursement of medical nutrition to cancer patients
  • Establish multidisciplinary teams in oncology, including a dietitian or registered nutritionist
  • Educate healthcare professionals and patient advocates, and inform cancer patients on the importance of a good nutrition status in cancer care

Better nutritional status in cancer patients contributes to improved tolerance to chemotherapy, faster recovery and higher survival rate. MNI & SNE call on the European Commission to take a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to cancer treatment.


MNI - The Medical Nutrition International Industry (MNI) is the voice of the medical nutrition industry at international level. MNI gathers companies that offer specialised nutritional solutions and services designed to meet the diverse nutritional needs of patients. We strive to put nutrition at the heart of patient care and we aim at an environment that provides fair access to nutritional care throughout the world. MNI is dedicated to advancing better care through better nutrition, across all ages and healthcare settings. More information at: – E-mail:

SNE - Specialised Nutrition Europe (SNE) is the voice of the specialised nutrition industry across Europe. SNE members are the national associations of 19 European countries including a majority of EU states and their members are the companies producing tailor made dietary solutions for populations with very specific nutritional needs. These include: infants and young children, patients under medical supervision, sportspeople, overweight and obese consumers, and those suffering from coeliac disease. More information at: – E-mail:

1 Better care through better nutrition: value and effects of medical nutrition - A summary of the evidence base (2018)

2 The economic cost of hospital malnutrition in Europe; a narrative review - Khalatbari-Soltani, Saman et al. (Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, June 2015, Volume 10, Issue 3, e89 - e94)

3 The economic costs of disease related malnutrition - Freijer, Karen et al. (Clinical Nutrition, February 2013, Volume 32, Issue 1, 136 – 141)