Nutritional Issues and Wellness Barriers for Older
Adults | Primer on Nutritional Assessment
Elderly individuals are at increased nutritional risk caused
by the normal changes of aging (e.g., loss of lean muscle and bone
mass, decline in immune function and oral health) (Morley 2001) as well as the difficulties associated with chronic
and acute medical conditions (Chernoff 2005). Age-related
changes lead to a variety of problems with eating, including difficulties
with chewing, swallowing, digestion, and absorption of nutrients.
For example, atrophic gastritis occurs in 10%–30% of
adults over age 50 years, reducing the absorption of vitamin B12 and
mineral nutrients that require an acid environment for optimal absorption
(Ho et al. 1999).