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Malnutrition

Food And Nutrient Needs, Causes Of Malnutrition, Prevalence Of Malnutrition, Weight Loss And Undernutrition In Dementia

Good nutritional status is essential to the maintenance of health and quality of life among older people. Normal changes associated with aging, along with physical illness and cognitive or emotional problems, can lead to dietary changes and contribute to undernutrition. Consequently, any deterioration in nutritional status can be considered a major determinant of morbidity and mortality in persons, especially those living in institutions or nursing homes.

Numerous changes in body composition occur after the age of seventy. Decreased bone mass, changes in the size of body organs, decreases in skeletal muscle and body water, and changes in body fat content contribute to losses in lean and fat body mass. Age-related decline in height is common, but its physiological or clinical importance to health is unknown. However, weight losses after age fifty are generally associated with deterioration in nutritional and overall health and mobility (Losonczy et al.)

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Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 3