Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Malnutrition: Major cause of aging

Malnutrition can be defined as the state of being poorly nourished. It may be caused by the lack of one or more nutrients (under-nutrition), or an excess of nutrients (overnutrition).

It is the consequence of energy and protein deficiencies that cause adverse effects on body composition and on body function such as impaired muscle function, decreased bone mass, immune dysfunction, anemia, reduced cognitive function, poor wound healing, delayed recovering from surgery, higher hospital and readmission rate, and mortality.

For the first time in decades average life expectancy in many developed countries is forecast to decline over the next 20 to 30 years, the reason is poor diet. Obesity is now a major epidemic and is rapidly becoming a leading cause of serious health problems and premature death.

Malnutrition is common among older people over 60 years of age. The prevalence of malnutrition in older people living in the community ranges between 1.3% and 47.8%.

The causes of malnutrition are extremely varied, and they can be divided into three main types: medical, social, and psychological. Social factors like poverty, loneliness, low levels of education may affect food availability and, subsequently, nutritional status.

Poor appetite or anorexia is probably the major cause of malnutrition and is mediated by a variety of factors. It is well known that energy intake decreases with age, and that micro-nutrient deficiencies are more likely to occur with a reduced energy intake.
Malnutrition: Major cause of aging

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