Nutrition is a concern for the aging population. Many older adults face daily challenges that put them at increased nutritional risk. They may have difficulties carrying out activities such as grocery shopping and preparing food, and their extensive list of medical conditions and medications may contribute to poor nutritional status. Other factors that contribute to malnutrition in older adults include loss of appetite because of an impaired sense of smell and taste, socioeconomic factors, poor cognition, and functional decline.
Under-nutrition is a risk factor for injury and cardiovascular disease; it can also contribute to poorer functional status, greater health service utilization, and a higher likelihood of mortality. It is important to address the nutritional needs of older adults and to enable them to live independently in the community.
Programs are available that may promote nutrition in older adults. Meal delivery and congregate meal programs have been described as facilitating access to nutritional needs while allowing individuals to engage in a social interaction or environment.
Following, you will find a list of gaps in evidence related to nutrition interventions for older adults that we have identified while carrying out recent rapid reviews through our Rapid Response Service. Knowing where gaps in the evidence exist can help researchers, research funding bodies, and program planners endeavouring to launch and evaluate nutritional programs to better focus their efforts on interventions for nutrition for older adults.
It is important to note that these gaps in evidence have been compiled from multiple CADTH reports from 2019.
For more details on each identified gap, consulting the full CADTH report is highly recommended. Depending on the date of the report, additional evidence may now be available that addresses the research gaps, as well as evidence from other organizations. And because of the methods used for rapid reviews, it is possible that evidence that could potentially address the research gaps may not have been included.