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Age Gracefully – Optimized Nutrition can Prevent loss of Independence in the Elderly

It is quite common to see people lose their strength and independence as they age. Medical science is shifting towards identifying early signs of decline in order to prevent loss of function.

It has been found that malnutrition in both extremes, undernutrition and the excess intakes in obesity, play a key role in the development of frailty in the elderly. Studies found that both undernutrition and obesity increased the risk of frailty in community dwelling older adults. The content of the diet was closely correlated with the incidence of frailty.

According to the American Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, participants who were over 60 years and frail had the lowest energy intakes. In another study of people over 65, frailty was associated with consuming less than 21kcal/kg. This is equivalent to someone weighing 150lbs (68kg) consuming less than 1430kcal per day.

Frailty Syndrome is characterized by unintentional weight loss, muscle weakness, slow walking speed, low physical activity, exhaustion, physical impairments, physical disabilities, cognition and sensory limitations.

Although Frailty Syndrome is most commonly seen in the elderly, it can occur in younger people. Without interven-tion, frailty syndrome is a vicious cycle which further increases the risk of deterioration, progression to a higher degree of disability and death....(click for the full report)
 

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