Malnutrition is often due to one or more of the following factors: inadequate food intake; food choices that lead to dietary deficiencies; and illness that causes increased nutrient requirements, increased nutrient loss, poor nutrient absorption, or a combination of these factors.
Malnutrition refers to getting too little or too much of certain nutrients. It can lead to serious health issues, including stunted growth, eye problems, diabetes and heart disease . Malnutrition affects billions of people worldwide.
For example: Normal age- related changes. Changes in taste, smell and appetite generally decline with age, making it more difficult to enjoy eating and keep regular eating habits. Illness. Impairment in ability to eat. Dementia. Medications. Restricted diets. Limited income. Reduced social contact.
The most important way to identify those at risk of malnutrition is by regular weighing and reporting of changes in weight. The five-step validated malnutrition universal screening tool (MUST) is now widely used in hospitals, primary care and care homes.
If you suspect senior malnutrition, watch for these signs: Excessive or prolonged sadness. Lack of energy . Memory issues or oncoming dementia . Getting sick often. Bruised or dry, cracked skin. Wounds that are slow to heal.
But some common signs of malnutrition in older people may include their clothing, jewellery and dentures becoming loose, having a reduced appetite, lack of interest in food and drink, tiredness, altered mood, and weakness.
The incidence and impact of malnutrition in older people is underestimated. The best option for treating malnutrition is to enhance normal eating and drinking. A “Food First” approach encourages eating frequent, small, high energy and protein meals and snacks.
Niacin is another mineral that helps the body convert food into energy. It’s also known as vitamin B-3 .
Other symptoms of malnutrition include: reduced appetite . lack of interest in food and drink. feeling tired all the time . feeling weaker. getting ill often and taking a long time to recover. wounds taking a long time to heal. poor concentration. feeling cold most of the time.
Socioeconomic, psychological, ethnic, physiological , and pathological factors all influence dietary intake , interacting in a complex and inter- twining manner. For example, financial stress can lead to depression , which in turn adversely affects dietary intake .
Eat at least three ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta every day. Choose whole grains whenever possible. Have three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy (milk, yogurt or cheese) that are fortified with vitamin D to help keep your bones healthy .
Good nutrition is important , no matter what your age. It gives you energy and can help you control your weight. It may also help prevent some diseases, such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
Mini Nutritional Assessment – Short Form (MNA®-SF) The MNA®-SF is a screening tool to help identify elderly patients who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition. It identifies the risk of malnutrition before severe changes in weight or serum protein levels occur.