What is the best food for man

Diet of the Elderly


Due to the slowed metabolism caused by changes in body composition (including decrease in muscle mass, increase in fat mass), younger seniors tend to be more likely to be overweight. But be careful: overweight people can also have nutrient deficiencies.

NoteObesity is generally considered a health risk. In the elderly, being slightly to moderately overweight can have health benefits. Because: In the event of illness or phases with low food intake, the energy requirement can be covered by the existing fat reserves. A higher BMI is therefore desirable in older people. In this context one speaks of "Obesity Paradox".


Older senior citizens are more likely to suffer from malnutrition and underweight. The reasons for this include problems of aging such as decreased appetite, altered sensory perceptions and chewing difficulties. Malnutrition is understood to mean the inadequate supply of energy, protein and / or other nutrients, usually recognizable by (unwanted) weight loss. This occurs in many older people (especially people in need of care). The consequences of malnutrition and underweight in old age include:

  • physical, mental and psychological impairment (e.g. chewing problems, confusion, delayed wound healing and risk of falling or reduced mobility),
  • weakened immune system,
  • delayed recovery after illness.

NoteUnderweight, which is often due to a lack of muscle mass, is just as unhealthy as being very overweight. Because if you are underweight, the risk of infectious diseases increases, which can lead to further weight loss. Regular weight control is therefore important. However, weight should be assessed with caution, as it alone does not say much about the state of health of old (geriatric) patients.

Sarcopenia (muscle wasting), cachexia and "frailty"

With increasing age - often in connection with little exercise - muscle mass decreases. This also leads to a loss of strength. This breakdown is called sarcopenia (muscle wasting).

In addition to sarcopenia, cachexia is also common. This means pathological emaciation. Cachexia is characterized, among other things, by unwanted weight loss with a decrease in fat and muscle mass, fatigue, weakness and a lack of appetite.

The term "frailty" means "vulnerability" and describes a syndrome of older people. This leads to weight loss, poor stamina and weakness. Fatigue and slow walking are also typical symptoms.