Malnourishment rife among Dutch over-65s

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One in ten elderly Dutch people is undernourished, research commissioned by the Health Ministry has shown. Professor Marjolein Visser of VU University who led the survey said that the percentage is unacceptably high.

Social workers providing home care to the elderly are often pressed for time, professor Visser said, and their clients' medical problems frequently go unnoticed. "The elderly who continue to live in their own homes are a vulnerable group, often suffering from chronic ailments, or having mental problems, which cause them to eat too little," Visser said.

According to a VU University definition, over-65s are deemed to be undernourished if they either suffer an unwanted weight loss of over four kilos within six months, or if their upper arm circumference is below 25 cms.


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