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IV. Life Stages

Basal Energy Expenditure     Changes with age Changes with age: Infancy Changes with age: Years of growth Changes with age: Adolescence Changes with age: Pregnancy and Lactation Changes with age: Old Age     Previous Page Next Page

Changes with age: Old Age

The elderly -- a fast-growing population (estimate: by 2050 >60 million Americans will be over age 65, and 1 million will be over 100).

Effects of aging:

  1. Energy needs decline. This can lead to insufficient essential nutrient content in meals that are calorically adequate.
  2. Vitamin, mineral absorption may change, leading to changing dietary requirements.
  3. Fat distribution patterns change, so skinfold thickness becomes a less accurate measure of total body fat.

Special nutritional problems are associated with aging.

  1. Sensory change: loss of smell, taste may make foods less appealing.
  2. Physical limitations can affect nutrition by affecting ease of obtaining and preparing foods.
  3. Social factors:

Some Factors Affecting Nutrition in the Elderly

Causes

Effects

dental problems
social isolation/depression
financial constraints
decreased physical mobility
changes in senses (small, taste, vision)
nutritional ignorance
altered mental status
medications
INADEQUATE FOOD INTAKE
reduced stomach acid
drug-nutrient interactions
gastrointestinal diseases
alcoholism

INADEQUATE ABSORPTION

drug-nutrient interactions
disease
alcoholism
INADEQUATE UTILIZATION
fever
injury
surgery
increased exertion
INCREASED REQUIREMENTS

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