By: Carla Prado & Maira Quintanilha
Within a week of being released, the video has been watched over 4K times and is being translated into 8 languages.
Low muscle mass is a defining feature of malnutrition. In recent years many studies across the world have shown that people living with obesity may present with low muscle mass. Yet, how many of us, individuals and practitioners, hold the idea that a malnourished person is one with a very low body weight?
In recognition of Canadian Malnutrition Awareness Week (Oct 5-9, 2020), we recently released an animated video that highlights the implications of low muscle mass, and the fact it may occur at any age and body weight. People with obesity who have low muscle mass may not be diagnosed as having malnutrition. More in depth assessment is needed to identify low muscle mass in individuals living in larger body sizes. In addition, of special focus is the importance of nutrition. Nutrition is a powerful intervention to prevent and treat low muscle mass.
The video compiles existing evidence in a short and engaging manner with the overall goal of raising awareness about the role of muscle mass in our bodies, and how proper nutrition enables muscle growth. We engaged stakeholders (i.e., students, clinicians, research participants) to craft a message that could be both educational and inspiring. We expect (and hope) that viewers will not only be captivated by an interesting and visually-pleasing video, but also empowered by what it might mean for their clinical practice, treatment and quality of life. We can all work towards better assessment, diagnose, treatment and public health messaging to tackle low muscle mass and malnutrition.