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HHS HealthBeat (December 13, 2012)

Frailty and food

A young woman holds a senior woman’s hands.

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Proper Nutrition

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Nicholas Garlow with HHS HealthBeat.

A study indicates that people who are frail are five times more likely than those who are not frail to report not having enough to eat.

Researchers used the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, looking at adults, 60 and older.

Ellen Smit, at Oregon State University, led the study.

“We can try and make sure that people who are frail have access to food.”

Half of the participants in the study were either frail or “pre-frail,” meaning they were at risk for decreased physical function.

“We can do something to try and prevent pre-frailty from becoming frail and people who are not frail from being pre-frail, perhaps some kind of an intervention through exercise as well as nutrition.” 

The study in the British Journal of Nutrition was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Nicholas Garlow.

Last revised: December 12, 2012