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Eating difficulties, nutrition, meal preferences and experiences among elderly: a literature overview from a Scandinavian context
Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Praktisk-estetiska ämnen. Kristianstad University, Research Environment Food and Meals in Everyday Life (MEAL).
Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Praktisk-estetiska ämnen. Kristianstad University, Research Environment Food and Meals in Everyday Life (MEAL).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2450-066X
Linnaeus University.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1212-293X
Linnaeus University.
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2015 (English)In: Journal of Food Research, ISSN 1927-0887, E-ISSN 1927-0895, Vol. 4, no 1, 22-37 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The risk of malnutrition increases with ageing, resulting in poorer health and higher risk of disease. Eating difficulties are important risk factors for malnutrition. Moreover, independence in relation to food and meals is highly rated by the elderly and has been associated with health and well-being. The purpose of this literature overview was to provide insights into nutritional status, food choice and preferences as well as the meal situations of home-living elderly (65+) people with motoric eating difficulties focusing on Scandinavia. The overall aim is to support independence and to prevent malnutrition. Nutritional status in the elderly was found to be negatively influenced by motoric eating difficulties including problems with manipulating food on the plate and transporting food to the mouth. Motoric eating difficulties may result in practical simplifications such as use of pre-prepared meals, less advanced cooking, and omission of certain meal constituents in order to avoid e.g. mismanagement and spillage. Eating difficulties are often accompanied by feelings of guilt and shame. Choosing smaller portions, reducing the number of eating episodes and not cooking independently have been associated with a higher risk of malnutrition. The nutritional effects of eating difficulties may be exacerbated by diminished chemosensory functions. Furthermore, both past and present food preferences should be considered in order to meet nutritional needs and meal satisfaction. Development of refined and socially accepted eating aids, in combination with tasty and nutritious products, is important in order to promote healthy and independent living among home-living elderly with motoric eating difficulties.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 4, no 1, 22-37 p.
Keyword [en]
eating difficulties, elderly, food choice, malnutrition, meal situation, nutritional status
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URN: urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-13300DOI: 10.5539/jfr.v4n1p22OAI: diva2:771925
Mat och måltidsteknik för ett hälsosamt och oberoende åldrande
Available from: 2014-12-15 Created: 2014-12-15 Last updated: 2015-12-25Bibliographically approved

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Nyberg, MariaOlsson, ViktoriaPajalic, ZadaWendin, KarinWestergren, Albert
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Avdelningen för Praktisk-estetiska ämnenResearch Environment Food and Meals in Everyday Life (MEAL)Avdelningen för Hälsovetenskap IResearch Environment PRO-CARE
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