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Malnutrition in the Elderly due to Eating Habits

Malnutrition in the Elderly due to Eating Habits
Generally, it is perceived that old age causes illnesses. But it is not the age of a person that leads to diseases. As the elderly do not pay much attention to their diet and become weak thus their bodies are unable to fight diseases.
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  • Generally, it is perceived that old age causes illnesses. But it is not the age of a person that leads to diseases. As the elderly do not pay much attention to their diet and become weak thus their bodies are unable to fight diseases.

  • Causes:

  • What can be the causes of the elderly not paying attention to their eating habits & a proper intake of nutrition?

  • One of the major reasons for lack of proper nutrition is eating alone. Many old people living alone lose interest in proper, enjoyable meals and consume quick and easy foods such as snacks. Eating alone cause depression and loneliness and they prefer unhealthy quick meals. Another problem with old people is oral health. They start having a lot of oral problems with age such as dentures therefore eating becomes a tedious task. Some old people have problems with their sense of taste and smell. These sensory problems make eating boring and there is no enjoyment left in eating.

  • The amount of drugs and medications taken by the adults also affect the taste of food and the side affects of the medication can cause loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.

  • Physical problems with people such as those with arthritis hinder them from taking proper meals like they have difficulty in cleaning, cutting and cooking vegetables and meat.

  • Lack of exposure to sunlight causes less amount of vitamin D in old people. Sometimes, the religious and cultural requirements restrict the elderly from consuming proper nutrients. There are certain cooking ingredients which are difficult to be found for special meals and hence they eat less and consume less nutrients.

  • Many old people have some form of chronic illness, which contributes to fewer calories less absorption of vitamins and minerals caused by ageing gastro-intestinal flora.

  • Treatment:

  • It is pertinent to have proper nutrition through the correct diet in order to avoid diseases and serious ailments. Consulting a doctor for a proper diet plan proves helpful.

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