1 Emma Wilson Professor Sigman March 30 2019 Geron 315 Malnutrition in Older Adults According to the American Journal of Nursing, malnutrition in relation to older adults is a condition that can occur in frail, underweight or in obese, overweight older adults when their nutritional needs are not being properly met (Mangels). As a nutrition and health major, this topic is of great interest to me and I think people should be educated about the detrimental effects malnutrition can have on the aging population. Malnutrition is very prevalent in older adults and a study done in 2016 concluded that 83% of adults age sixty-five and above are at risk for malnutrition (Mangels). But why is this percentage so high and what are the causes? As the older adult population begins to grow, I think it is important to address this issue and realize what causes the risk for malnutrition in older adults, in order to find a possible solution to lower this percentage. Malnutrition in Older Adults, a 2018 article published in the American Journal of Nursing comments on the many different factors that can affect malnutrition in older adults. The first of these is physical changes that come about as we age. Loss of muscle mass and increased body fat are both normal changes of the aging process and can influence an individual’s ability to access the needed nutrients by impeding grocery shopping or cooking. Another consequence of reduced muscle mass is a lower required caloric intake, but this decreased caloric intake can
2 also decrease the intake of important vitamins and minerals. The second factor that can influence malnutrition is dehydration, because as we age our perception of thirst decreases, making it easier to become dehydrated. Dentition is the third physical change. This is because many older adults do not have natural teeth which may lead to limitations of what can be eaten. Fourthly, sensory changes have a big impact on whether or not an individual is obtaining the need nutrients as they age. These sensory changes include altered taste, vision, and smell which can all decrease enjoyment of eating and inability to pick out proper foods. The fifth
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- Nutrition, Malnutrition, Vitamin