HEALTH: Weight Loss Not Natural

The www.malnutritiontaskforce.org.uk is trying to raise awareness that getting thinner is not a normal part of ageing. To help ensure good health in later life, it is important to maintain a healthy, stable weight.

Undernutrition in later life is very common. One in ten people over the age of 65 are estimated to be undernourished or at risk of malnutrition. It increases the risk of ill health and infections and can result in a longer recovery time from surgery and illness.

The Malnutrition Task Force commissioned a new poll that found over a third of people (36%) over the age of 60 in the UK think it’s perfectly normal to lose weight as you get older. Over three-quarters (80%) say they have never worried about themselves or another older person unintentionally losing weight. You can read our press release here which even made the front page news on Monday!

As we know it is not good to be overweight but equally, it’s not healthy to be underweight. It’s easy for weight to drop off without noticing, rings or watch are looser than normal, skirts and trousers lose around the waist.

If you think that you or someone you know may be under a healthy weight or malnourished, here are some simple things you could do:

  • Look for signs of unintentional weight loss, this could be rings and watches being looser or falling off.
  • Think about how to talk to them about it and considering using the easy to use self-screening tool at http://www.malnutritionselfscreening.org/
  • If you are worried, talk to your GP or Practice Nurse, tell friends and family about your concerns and find about more about eating for health in old age at www.malnutritiontaskforce.org.uk
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