Nanda defines imbalanced nutrition care plan as a set of procedures done to address the problem of imbalanced nutrition, which means that the body cannot meet the needs in metabolism due to lack of in-taken nutrients.

One of the common diagnoses in nursing is defined as ‘imbalanced nutrition: less than body requirements’ to demonstrate that the amount of nutrients obtained by the body is insufficient for meeting the metabolic needs available on the daily basis.

People require sufficient nutrition as it is one of the basic preconditions of daily effective and normal functioning of the body and meeting of the metabolic requirements. In some cases, a person suffers from insufficiency of nutrition either as a result of diseases or certain social, physical and psychological factors. Cancer, gastrointestinal mal-absorption, various kinds of burns are some of the examples of serious diseases which make an impact on the individual nutritional status. As for the social factors, they are financial problems and low economic status, while physical factors include pain, weakness of the muscles, activity intolerance, alcohol and drug abuse, poor dentition, and others. Depression, dementia, and boredom are the psychological factors which can be combined with cultural and religious ones.

It is more typical for women than for men to have the symptoms of imbalanced nutrition due to numerous changes in the female bodies. Age, some illnesses as well as pregnancy affect their nutritional status.

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Factors of Imbalanced Nutrition: Less than Body Requirements

An imbalanced nutrition care planalways takes into account the following factors:

  • The body cannot absorb the required nutrients
  • The body cannot properly digest food
  • The body cannot ingest food effectively
  • Insufficient knowledge
  • A person does not want to eat
  • Lack of balance in the social, physical, and psychological statuses

Characteristics of Imbalanced Nutrition: Less than Body Requirements

  1. Pain in abdomen
  2. Cramping in abdomen
  3. Change in sensing tastes
  4. Percentage of body weight as compared to the ideal one: more than 20% below
  5. Fragility of capillary system
  6. Diarrhea
  7. Intense loss of hair
  8. Intake of food which is lower than RDA (recommended daily allowance)
  9. Food aversion
  10. Sounds of hyperactive bowel
  11. Lack of information
  12. Lack of willingness to eat
  13. Poor muscle tone
  14. Misperception in nutrition
  15. Wrong information about nutrition
  16. Inadequate color of mucous membranes
  17. Perceived incapability of food ingestion
  18. Satiety right after food ingesting
  19. Sore buccal cavities
  20. Weak mastication muscles
  21. Weak swallowing muscles
  22. Proper intake of food with weight loss

Imbalanced Nutrition Less than Body Requirements Short Term Goal

Nursing Assessment and Rationale

Objectives and Outcomes

  • Patient demonstrates better awareness of proper nutrition requirements and benefits.
  • Patient does not have any signs of losing weight.
  • Patient does not have any malnutrition signs.
  • Patient in-takes normal food and adequate amount of calories
  • Patient demonstrates good eating habits and no nutrition problems

Imbalanced Nutrition: Less than Body Requirements: Nursing Interventions and Rationale

Nursing Interventions




Give the explanations to the patient about the benefits of adequate nutrition as well as negative consequences of nursing diagnosis for obesity and malnutrition

The patient will understand the requirements of daily nutrition for the body

Determine the weight of the patient’s body via the use of standard weighing scale

Determine the patient’s actual weight and compare it to the index of normal body mass.

Ensure proper positioning while eating.

It is possible to avoid the risk of aspiration while having a meal

Take care of oral hygiene

It is one of the guarantees of proper food taste and good appetite

Explain to the patient that it is better to have frequent but small helpings of food

The patient will have enhanced appetite and good food digestion

Explain the negative effects of drinking carbonated and caffeinated beverages.

The patient’s hunger will decrease.

Motivate the patient to exercise continuously.

Metabolism will get improved

A nursing care plan for weight loss should also include adapting changes to the current practices.

It is important to respect the preferences of the family and demonstrate respect for the background and culture.



Ask for dietitian’s advice, if needed

Specify the nutritional content required for the patient to prevent further nutritional problems and resolve the available ones.

Ask for the advice of an occupational therapist if the patient has physical disabilities.

Help the patient not to disrupt good nutrition

Accompany the imbalanced nutrition care plan with the advice of a  speech therapist if the patient has impaired swallowing

The patient will be able to have the swallowing techniques improved

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