Malnutrition in Older Texans

Nutrition is an important part of aging and living well. Good nutrition can help maintain a healthy immune system and physical function, improve recovery from illness or injury, and reduce the risk of chronic conditions.

According to Defeat Malnutrition at least one out of two older adults is at risk of becoming, or is already, malnourished. It is estimated that in the United States disease-associated malnutrition (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, etc.) in older adults’ costs $51.3 billion every year.

With Texas’ aging population expected to more than double from 2000 to 2030, it is important to raise awareness of the prevalence of malnutrition in older adults, the associated cost burden, and the health impacts.

Malnutrition is a state of poor nutritional health. This could be a deficiency of nutrients (under nourished) or an excess of nutrients (over-nourished).

Because of different age-related factors, such as decreased physical function and cognitive decline, many older adults might already be malnourished without a diagnosis.For this reason, it is important to conduct nutrition screenings (ideally alongside a registered dietitian) and have the ability to identify the signs and symptoms.

For printable fact sheets about healthy eating and malnutrition, visit here. []