The charity Age UK is to lead the government-backed Malnutrition Prevention Project to raise awareness of malnutrition among elderly people and in the population at large. It has been estimated that up to one million over-65s in England may suffer from undiagnosed and untreated malnutrition.
Research has identified that 93% of malnourished older people live in the community. The Malnutrition Prevention Project aims to target individuals in this group and support people who need help to eat properly.
The project will start with five pilot areas, including Lambeth and Salford in January 2014. Two strands of the project will tackle (i) raising awareness of malnutrition among professionals such as hospitals, care homes and GP surgeries, and (ii) encouraging older people to be aware of malnutrition and adopt healthier eating, probably with the help of volunteers.
Elderly malnutrition highlighted in government project. London: BBC Health News, December 22nd 2013.
Malnutrition across all age groups appears to be increasing, possibly as a result of rising food poverty.
Buchanan, M. (2014). Food poverty: experts issue malnutrition health warning. London: BBC Health News, August 22nd 2014.