When our body does not need or get enough nutrients and energy from the food we eat it is called malnutrition. The important nutrients that are needed by our body are fats, carbohydrates, protein, vitamin, and mineral. These nutrients help our body in repairing tissues and regulate processes such as breathing and beating heart. For all older adults, good nutrition plays a vital role, especially for those who are ill or have been diagnosed with chronic diseases.
Risks of malnutrition or loss of nutrition/improper diet:
A lot of health risk may occur because of malnutrition:-
Loss of strength
Increased risk of infection
Poor immune system
These problems cannot be solved unless the adults are well nourished. There are many things which may affect the amount and type of food those adults eat which includes:-
HEALTH PROBLEMS: – Loss of appetite can be caused by some various diseases. It is a symptom for many health issues where the patient doesn’t feel like eating anything.
This could also happen if the diet is restricted or bland.
MEDICINES: – Certain medicines can decrease appetite or affect the taste and smell of food.
ALCOHOLISM: – Alcohol affects our body to absorb nutrients from food and it also decreases appetite.
Steps to prevent Malnutrition:
Encourage them to take healthier food choices. Foods which are full of nutrients such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk and milk products and lean meats. And limit their intake of solid fats, sugars, alcoholic beverages and salt.
Intake of healthy foods is the better way to get extra nutrients and energy from meals.
If you are on a restricted diet, herbs and spices can help to restore flavour.
If dietary changes are not providing you enough nutrients, then you may take benefit from supplement shake or from other nutrition supplements. These supplements should be prescribed by doctor or dietician.
A little bit of exercise can help to improve appetite and also keep your bones and muscles strong.
A well balanced diet must be consumed. You need to gradually increase the calories and other nutrients in the diet through several small meals.
Monitor eating habits and conditions and understand if it is caused due to environmental, financial or physical issues. It is necessary to consume adequate nutrition and maintain a healthy balanced diet.