Joint effort towards preventing nutritional deficiencies at the extremes of life during COVID-19

Giulia C.I. Spolidoro, Domenico Azzolino, Raanan Shamir, Matteo Cesari, Carlo Agostoni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic is posing a threat to communities and healthcare systems worldwide. Malnutrition, in all its forms, may negatively impact the susceptibility and severity of SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) infection in both children and older adults. Both undernutrition and obesity have been evoked as conditions associated with a higher susceptibility to the infection and poor prognosis. In turn, the COVID-19 infection may worsen the nutritional status through highly catabolic conditions, exposing individuals to the risk of malnutrition, muscle wasting, and nutritional deficiencies. Accordingly, the relationship between malnutrition and COVID-19 is likely to be bidirectional. Furthermore, the modification of nutritional behaviors and physical activity, required to limit the spread of the virus, are posing a challenge to health at both the extremes of life. Thus far, even the most advanced healthcare systems have failed to address the alarming consequences of malnutrition posed by this pandemic. If not properly addressed, we may run the risk that new and old generations will experience the consequences of COVID-19 related malnutrition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1616
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Aging
  • Diet
  • Life-course
  • Malnutrition
  • Nutrition
  • Pediatrics
  • Sarcopenia
  • SARS-COV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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