Malnutrition is a Threat to Healthy Aging

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Vanessa Sink

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NCOA encourages everyone to get educated during Malnutrition Awareness WeekTM

Arlington, VA – As people age, their relationship with food can change. Many find that foods they always loved start to taste different. For others, it may become too difficult to navigate a grocery store to do their shopping. And for others, chronic conditions mean they have to be extra careful about what they eat. All of these changes can lead to malnutrition.

That’s why the National Council on Aging (NCOA) encourages all older adults and their caregivers to take time during Malnutrition Awareness WeekTM (Sept. 26-Sept. 30) to learn the warning signs of malnutrition and ways they can stay healthy.

“Older adults are particularly at risk for malnutrition due to changes in their bodies as they age and the medications they take, which can affect their ability to absorb key nutrients,” said Kathleen Cameron, Senior Director of NCOA’s Center for Healthy Aging. “As we get older, it’s especially important to get the right amount of fluids, protein, and nutrients like calcium and vitamin D.”

NCOA has created a special section on its website to provide older adults and their loved ones with important information about malnutrition and chronic diseases. It includes:

  • An infographic with 5 facts about malnutrition
  • A quiz about malnutrition and older adults
  • A checklist of 6 questions to ask your doctor to prevent malnutrition after a hospital stay
  • A tip sheet on nutrition for seniors with chronic conditions (also in Spanish)

“You may not quickly recognize that a loved one is malnourished if you don’t know the warning signs,” said Cameron. “Take this week to get educated and don’t be afraid to talk with those you love about their health and their diet.”

Free, trusted information is available at ncoa.org/NutritionTools. NCOA is also hosting a Twitter chat on Wed., Sept. 28 at 2:30 p.m. ET. Join the experts using the hashtag #MAWchat.

About NCOA

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a respected national leader and trusted partner to help people aged 60+ meet the challenges of aging. Our mission is to improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. Through innovative community programs and services, online help, and advocacy, NCOA is partnering with nonprofit organizations, government, and business to improve the health and economic security of 10 million older adults by 2020. Learn more at ncoa.org and @NCOAging.