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Press Kit for Malnutrition: A Hidden Epidemic in Older Adults

Published May 9, 2016

May 9th, 2016 – Welcome to the press kit page about the Alliance for Aging Research’s new animated “pocket film” that spotlights the hidden epidemic of malnutrition and older adults. To see a press release about the film, go here. You can also learn more about the Alliance’s complete list of resources by going to the Malnutrition in Older Adults resource page.

About the Issue

Malnutrition is an under-recognized and under-reported problem in the United States among older adults. This is largely because the symptoms of malnutrition can be hard to identify, even by a health care professional. Often, symptoms are dismissed as a “normal” part of aging. But malnutrition can affect anyone, regardless of their weight or body type. The consequences of undiagnosed malnutrition can be devastating, including a compromised immune system, weight loss, frailty, disability, and loss of independence.

Stats and Facts

  • As many as one in two older adults are at risk for malnutrition.
  • Up to 65 percent of hospitalized older adults could face malnutrition.
  • The increased economic burden in the U.S. for disease-associated malnutrition in older adults is $51.3 billion each year.
  • Malnutrition can increase hospital stays by up to four to six extra days.
  • Nursing home residents are particularly at high risk for malnutrition.
  • Disease-associated malnutrition can occur in conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain, gastrointestinal diseases, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia, and depression.
  • Disease-related malnutrition is often associated with protein deficiencies, which can result in loss of muscle mass and strength, known as a condition called sarcopenia.
  • While malnutrition is a major issue, it can be treated. It’s important to have an entire team of professionals to assist with the process.

The Film

Malnutrition: A Hidden Epidemic in Older Adults shows how malnutrition, often without obvious symptoms, can jeopardize the health and independence of older adults. It also informs viewers about how to prevent malnutrition, how to spot the signs of the condition, and steps to take to regain their nutritional health. The film is available for online viewing as well as download. It will also soon be available in Spanish.

Contact Info

For more information about this campaign and for interviews with experts, please contact Noel Lloyd via ezdsmail or 202.370.7852.

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