What is Sarcopenia?
Sarcopenia is a medical condition resulting in the loss muscle mass and strength.
Although sarcopenia is often associated with getting older, good nutrition and staying fit can help reduce or even stop the impacts it can have on our bodies. If left untreated, sarcopenia can contribute to a spiral of ill health, with muscular weakness leading to decreases in exercise and nutritional intake, making the condition even worse.
What is Malnutrition?
Malnutrition is an imbalance of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals that can cause adverse effects on body shape, bodily function and clinical outcomes.
Malnutrition can mean not eating enough relative to energy expenditure, but can also occur if a person doesn’t eat a diverse diet or overconsumes energy-dense foods, which is why overweight or obese people can also be malnourished.
Up to 50% of Australian aged care residents are malnourished.
Up to 40% of Australian hospital patients are malnourished.
Up to 15% of Australians in community home care are malnourished.
The Role of Nutrition in Sarcopenia and Malnutrition
Malnutrition and sarcopenia occur when a person doesn’t consume the right nutrients.
Both conditions increase the likelihood of infections and injuries, which take longer than normal to heal because of nutritional deficiencies. This, in turn, can lead to hospital stays and the risk of pressure sores. In hospital, people are likely to eat even less food, creating a heightened risk of mortality.
Once the spiral of ill health begins, it’s very difficult to correct. Get the nutrients your body needs, and stop the problem before it starts.
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