Preventing malnutrition in later life

The UK’s first Malnutrition Awareness Week

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The Malnutrition Task Force is delighted to announce the first ever UK Malnutrition Awareness Week which will take place 1st – 5th October 2018.

We are delighted to be joining forces with BAPEN on this joint project which will launch on the International Day of Older Persons on Monday 1st October.

There is a significant problem with ‘hidden’ malnutrition among older people. It is estimated that 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 in the UK are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition. The vast majority (over 90%) of people who are malnourished are living in their own homes and yet for many people the signs and symptoms of malnutrition go unnoticed and unrecognised. Malnutrition affects every system in the body and results in increased vulnerability to illness, increased complications and in very extreme cases even death. Furthermore, malnutrition is a major public health issue estimated to have cost £19.6 billion in just one year in England alone at the last estimate, about 15% of the total expenditure on health and social care.

Watch this space for news on the forthcoming Malnutrition Awareness Week! 1st-5th October 2018.

Dianne Jeffrey, Chair of the MTF, believes the first ever UK Malnutrition Awareness Week is an important step forward.

“We wrongly assume that malnutrition and dehydration belong to the past – but the reality is that poor nutrition and hydration are often not recognised by older people, families or health care professionals. The risk of becoming undernourished increases significantly as people age and it is further complicated by the common myth that losing weight is a normal part of ageing, when it should actually raise alarm bells.

We are all well aware that obesity causes serious health problems but there are also serious health consequences for older people who are at the other end of the scale and don’t eat enough.

The Malnutrition Task Force is delighted to be a part of the first Malnutrition Awareness Week to tackle these common misconceptions and raise awareness about the importance of eating well in later life.”

To stay up to date with our plans for Malnutrition Awareness Week please follow us on Twitter @MalnutritionTF and @BAPENUK and Facebook @UKBAPEN and search for #MAW2018.

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