Nationwide, up to 60 percent of hospitalized older adults may be malnourished, with an estimated price tag of $51.3 billion. It is no surprise that a 300 percent increase in health care costs can be attributed to poor nutrition status. In Oregon, Registered Dietitian Nutritionists are in the forefront of the fight to prevent and treat malnutrition.
Partnering with nutrition leaders, Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council is working to raise awareness and has gathered educational tools to help health professionals recognize and treat malnutrition. The resources also help older adults realize that they need to ask about nutrition and advocate for improved care.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown joined the Oregon Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in shining the light on the impact of malnutrition – especially in older adults – by proclaiming September 26 to 30 as Malnutrition Awareness Week in Oregon.
Preventing and treating malnutrition can be as simple as following the MyPlate guidelines. Eating enough food and the right amounts from each food group is the key. Protein is especially important.
Everyone, and especially those at risk of malnutrition such as the ill or elderly, should aim to consume 3-4 ounces of protein at each meal (30 grams). Protein-rich dairy foods are a convenient, affordable and tasty option for seniors. Try milk (lactose-free, if needed), cheese, Greek yogurt, yogurt and cottage cheese. Find out what a serving is and how you can get enough with these fact sheets:
Malnutrition awareness is important. Learn more about this issue at this link to a KPTV television story with Providence nutrition services.