Nearly half (45 per cent) of British adults believe that losing weight in later life – aged 75 and over – is normal, when in fact unintended weight loss can be a sign of malnutrition, says new research from the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN).
Published during the first ever UK Malnutrition Awareness Week (1-5 October), the research aims to raise awareness of the ‘hidden’ problem of malnutrition in older people.
The research also found that 1.3 million people over 65 years of age in the UK are either malnourished or at risk. Older people who are malnourished have more hospital admissions and stay in hospital longer than well-nourished individuals.
Dr Simon Gabe, president of BAPEN said: “There is work to do with the public to alert them to the warning signs and to eradicate myths about food and drink, but we are also calling on frontline health and social care professionals to spot people at risk.”