Sunday, January 15, 2006

nutrition

Eating habits are established early in life and by the time a person reaches old age, likes and dislikes are deeply entrenched. Foods are often chosen for their appetite-filling value rather than for their nourishment. Because of this, malnutrition is a problem of the elderly. Eating is basically a social activity. Appetites improve when meals are shared. A person living alone soon loses interest in preparing and eating nutritious meals. Apathy and loneliness are a big deterrent to an appetite even if cooking facilities are available. Other factors in inadequate nutrition of the elderly include digestive changes, loss of appetite due to decreased sensitivity in smell and taste, and chewing problems due to ill-fitting dentures or the absence of teeth.
See also FLUID INTAKE; FOOD GROUPS, BASIC; VITAMINS.
Deedy, J. Your Aging Parents. Chicago: The Thomas More Press, 1984.

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