Self -Care Deficit In Food

Self -Care Deficit In Food

NANDA Nursing Diagnosis: Self -Care Deficit In Food

Self-care deficit in food is a nursing diagnosis defined by the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association (NANDA), which refers to difficulty or inability to meet nutritional requirements for meeting needs for food and fluids.

NANDA Nursing Diagnosis Definition

Self-care deficit in food is defined as an impaired ability to provide nourishment for oneself based on age-related performance capacity and skills. This occurs when the individual is unable to make appropriate food choices, select adequate nutrients from available food sources, prepare meals and snacks, or consume food in adequate amounts.

Defining Characteristics


  • Verbalization of food refusal
  • Complaints of hunger between meals
  • Reports of food-related fears
  • Verbalization of lack of appetite
  • Expressed dislike of certain types of foods


  • Moderate to significant weight loss (e.g., 5% of body weight in one month)
  • Excessive food intake at one meal
  • Resistance to eating
  • Malnutrition
  • Inadequate food preparation

Related Factors

  • Cognitive Impairment: Decreased capacity to make decisions to meet nutritional needs
  • Motor Deficits: Impaired ability to prepare food or consume food due to decreased motor abilities
  • Social Isolation: Lack of access to community resources to meet nutritional needs
  • Environmental Barriers: Lack of community resources to access food, such as appropriate grocery stores
  • Impaired Swallowing: Decreased ability to swallow food safely and effectively

Risk Population

  • Elderly
  • Debilitated patients
  • Infants and children
  • Individuals with dementia
  • Individuals with communication deficits
  • Immobilized individuals
  • Socially isolated individuals

Associated Problems

  • Undernutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Weight imbalance
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Dysphagia

Suggestions For Use

  • Assess the patient’s self-care abilities and limitations.
  • Educate the patient about regular meal times and adequate food intake.
  • Encourage the patient to try new foods in order to meet nutritional needs.
  • Assist the patient with meal preparation and consumption.
  • Teach the patient or family members regarding food and nutrition.

Suggested Alternative NANDA Diagnoses

  • Activity Intolerance
  • Impaired Swallowing
  • Impaired Swallowing Related to Mechanical Factors
  • Impaired Oral Mucous Membrane
  • Ineffective Skin Protective Mechanism

Usage Tips

  • Self-care deficit in food should be used when there are deficits in the patient’s ability to meet their nutritional needs.
  • This diagnosis should not be used without valid evidence.

NOC Results

  • Nutrition: ability to consume nutrients sufficient to meet metabolic needs.
  • Feed Self: ability to obtain and prepare foods for adequate intake.
  • Body Weight: actual body weight compared to optimal range.
  • Fluid Balance: amount and composition of fluid in relation to normal.

NIC Interventions

  • Nutritional Management: providing or assisting an individual or family to obtain adequate nutrition.
  • Swallowing Enhancement: promoting an individual’s ability to swallow efficiently.
  • Meal Preparation Assistance: assisting an individual to obtain, prepare and store meals.
  • Nutrition Education: providing education specific to nutritional needs and plans.


Self-care deficit in food is a nursing diagnosis that is applicable to a wide variety of patients, including acutely ill patients or those with chronic or long-term illnesses. This diagnosis can be used to develop a plan of care that addresses the patient’s nutritional needs and promotes health and well-being.


  • What is self-care deficit in food?
  • A self-care deficit in food is an impaired ability to provide nourishment for oneself based on age-related performance capacity and skills.
  • What are some associated problems of self-care deficit in food?
  • Associated problems include undernutrition, dehydration, weight imbalance, unintended weight loss, and dysphagia.

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