Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Meeting nutrition needs of an ageing population

Friday, March 31, 2006

Meeting nutrition needs of an ageing population

Nutrition in older people is under the scrutiny of a team of researchers from the Massey University’s Institute of Food Nutrition and Human Health.

With the population of older people steadily increasing, there is recognition that little is understood about the factors that could lead to nutrition risk in the future.

The study is part of the Institute’s wider project, entitled Foods for the Future Throughout the Lifecycle, and researchers have identified food and nutrition needs in the aged as a pressing issue. Working with Age Concern, they will be recruiting 80 to 85-year-olds living in North Shore for a pilot study.

It’s estimated that in 20 years 20 per cent of the population will be 65 and over, and the fastest-growing group is forecast to be those over the age of 85.
This shift to a much larger elderly population will bring new health and social issues, say researchers.

Foods for the Future team leader Dr Carol Wham (pictured) says to assist with appropriate strategy development and service delivery, there is a real need now to understand what older people are eating and drinking and how health and social factors are related to nutrition risk.

“There is little known about how older people procure, preparing or consume healthful food,” says Dr Wham. “This study aims to identify factors that may put them at nutritional risk.”

There are nutrition requirements and risks to good nutrition that are specific to the older age group, she says.

“Poor nutrition in older people increases their risk of loss of functional ability and therefore reduces their ability to carry out the activities of daily life and to maintain independence.
“With ageing there is a physiological decline in food intake and the regulation of appetite is fundamentally different.”

The researchers want about 60 people who are receiving some form of nutritional care at home. The pilot study will help determine the methodology to be applied for future research in this project.

Dr Wham says the findings will enable the development of more effective resources and policies for service groups.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Howard Davis Article: A Musical Axis - Brahms, Wagner, Sibelius

Brahms' warm and exquisitely subtle Symphony No. 3 in F major, Wagner's irrepressibly sentimental symphonic poem Siegfried Idyll, and Sibelius' chilling and immensely challenging Violin Concerto in D minor exemplify distinct stages of development in a tangled and convoluted series of skirmishes that came to define subsequent disputes about the nature of post-Romantic orchestral writing well into the following century. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: A Pale Ghost Writer

Reviewed by Ruth Brassington, Richard Flanagan's new novel is about a novelist hastily ghost-writing the biography of a crook about to go to trial. The reader is kept on a cliff-edge, as the narrator tries to get blood out of his stone man. More>>

Negotiations Begin: Equal Conditions For Men & Women In Professional Football

The trade union representing New Zealand's professional footballers has initiated bargaining for an agreement securing equal terms and conditions for men and women. If negotiated, it will be the first agreement of its kind in the world. More>>


New Zealand Wars Commemoration: Witi Ihimaera's Sleeps Standing Moetū

The second of several articles to mark Rā Maumahara, remembering the New Zealand Land Wars. The first was a Q&A with Vincent O’Malley, author of The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800–2000. More>>


Howard Davis Review: Conflict & Resistance - Ria Hall's Rules of Engagement

From the aftermath of war through colonisation to her own personal convictions, Hall's new CD addresses current issues and social problems on multiple levels, confirming her position as a polemical and preeminent voice on the indigenous NZ music scene. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland