Seeking solutions for malnourished elderly
By Peter Kent
A recent survey of older adults in South Carolina classified 54 percent of respondents as being at risk for malnutrition.
“The elderly are a group often at risk for nutritional compromise due to chronic illness, social inequality, social and psychological factors and poor dietary practices,” said Angela Fraser, a Clemson food safety specialist.
She is leading a research team from Clemson and MUSC to develop a nutrition and food safety program for older adults. Funded by a USDA grant, the study will have a broad impact, laying the groundwork for a statewide and possible regional or national program.
The research tests the health effects of new food safety and nutrition education instruction for adults age 60 and older. The information is culturally and regionally tailored and will be delivered to older adults attending 12 randomly selected group meal sites across the state. The project focuses on poorer, rural, older adults, especially members of minority groups.