Nashville Public Television (December 5)
Aging Matters: Nutrition & Aging (video)
Of the diseases that can affect how we age, malnutrition is not an obvious one. However, researchers say more and more older adults are malnourished, including people who may look healthy or who may even be overweight. The documentary “Nutrition and Aging” examines the hidden epidemic of malnutrition and undernutrition among older adults in the United States. National reports consistently show that Tennessee is among the worst states when it comes to percentage of adults age 60 and older who face the threat of hunger or lack access to quality food, what is known as “food insecurity.” Aging presents other challenges to maintaining a balanced diet, including changes to how bodies process foods and nutrients, how our digestive system works, and how foods taste. Some older people develop difficulty swallowing; others are not able to shop for or prepare meals, while others find the cost of groceries to be a deterrent. The result of these numerous factors is that one in four older adults has some form of malnutrition.