This blog was contributed by Dianne Jeffrey, Chairman of the Malnutrition Task Force and Age UK
This week is Nutrition and Hydration Week, a brilliant campaign which raises awareness and celebrates food and drink as a way of maintaining health and wellbeing.
I’m certain that no-one doubts the importance of food. It gives us the nutrients we need for energy and to stay healthy; it helps us to stay sharp mentally; it can boost our wellbeing and generally keep us happy.
But let’s not just think in practical terms – the aroma of your favourite food as it drifts into the senses, and the sensations we feel as it hits our taste buds are some of the great pleasures in life. Most importantly, food is something we should continue to look forward to.
Food is so vital to every one of us and we should all strive to eat well and sufficiently throughout our lives.
However, that isn’t always the case.
Although many of us believe that malnutrition, or undernutrition, has been confined to the history books, the reality is different. In the UK, 1 in 10 older people – around 1 million altogether – are undernourished or at risk of undernourishment.