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Malnourished Encouraged to Eat Chocolate this Easter
Posted by Marketing on April 2, 2015

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Australian dietitians have approved chocolate for malnourished older Australians in a bid to help curb high rates of malnutrition among older Australians this Easter.

The call comes as latest figures reveal malnutrition affects up to 1.7 million older Australians.

Dietitians Association of Australia spokesperson, Milena Katz, says these figures are shocking in a developed country like Australia, but not surprising.

“Malnutrition is often overlooked or forgotten in the community, in aged care facilities and in hospitals, but can have a real impact on quality of life," Ms Katz says.

"It’s linked with decreased immune function, poor would healing, muscle wasting and lethargy. So, we need to take steps to reduce this terrible problem. Dietitians and other health professionals are working on many levels to address malnutrition, such as through screening programs," she says.

Ms Katz says with Easter just around the corner, it is timely to remind aged care workers, families and friends that higher-kilojoule foods, like hot chocolate or hot cross buns with spread are sufficient choices for those either malnourished or at risk.

She claims a third of hospitalised Australians aged 65 years and older are overtly malnourished, with a further 50% at a high risk of malnutrition, while in the wider community, the condition affects almost one in 10 older Australians with another 40% considered at high risk.

“A decrease in muscle mass affects strength and ability to function independently. Getting enough protein and energy, or kilojoules, each day can help reduce muscle wastage,” Ms Katz says.

An Accredited Practising Dietitian can help identify people who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition, and work with them and their families to make sure they receive the professional advice they require. 

Source: DPS News. Click here to view the original story. 

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