Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

One in 10 older patients are 'malnourished', warn dietitians

  • 1 Comment

Malnutrition is a “very big problem” in the UK, experts warned, as they set out a guide to prevent the condition in older people.

Most people think of the condition as a “third world problem”, but one in 10 older people in the UK are malnourished, the British Dietetic Association and the Malnutrition Task Force said.

Officials said that tackling malnutrition in adults could save the NHS as much as £45.5m a year.

“For far too long, malnutrition and dehydration has been thought of as a third world problem,” said Helen Davidson, honorary chair of the British Dietetic Association - the professional body for UK dietitians.

“The reality is, malnutrition and dehydration is a very big problem here in the UK.”

Malnutrition Task Force task force chair Dianne Jeffrey added: “One in 10 older people are malnourished and 93% of them are in the community. This is where it starts for many people, so we must make every effort to improve prevention and early detection of malnutrition.

“There are many different causes and factors that contribute to malnutrition and addressing them requires the concerted effort of all stakeholders.

“Together, we can combat preventable malnutrition effectively and thus improve the health of older people, maintain their independence and save money for the local health economy too.”

Malnutrition, which is thought to affect three million people in the UK, is a serious condition that occurs when a person’s diet does not contain the right amount of nutrients.


  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • many people come into hospital malnourished, many are either underweight or overweight. this happens in younger people too.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.