As a person grows older, the basal metabolic rate of the body tends to slow down primarily due to lack of activity and regular physical exercise. As the age of person increases, the calorie requirement of the body decreases. As the senses of smell and taste tend to decrease in older people, they often find food less palatable, resulting in situations called under-eating. However, vital nutrients are still essential for the body even at this age and require proper nutritional care supported by healthy diet.
Eating less during old age often provides an invitation for various unwanted diseases. Older people who are underweight are easily prone to get infected primarily due to a depleted immune system that fails to offer protection against invading pathogens. Apart from this, under weight persons are at an increased risk of developing various other diseases including anemia and osteoporosis. Nutritional abnormalities in older people could sometimes be an indicative of a serious medical complication such as cancer, dementia, heart failure or depression.
However, there are multiple ways through which elder persons can gain back the weight. According to doctors and nutritionists, elder people should take diet that is rich in nutrients and vitamins. These include fruits, vegetables, fluids and fibers. Dental and oral problems could also lead to decreased diet intake. Hence, it is important to have a routine checkup of gums, teeth and mouth. Elder persons often find it easy to taken liquid foods rather than thicker foods. Other options include serving finger-foods, liquid food supplements and serving familiar, palatable and tastier foods that are presented in a pleasing manner.