Why Diet is Critically Important for Elderly Health

Grandparents Walking

Grandparents walking with granddaughter

Diet for babies, children, teens, and even adults is always a factor on everyone’s mind. Poor nutrition can stunt growth, development, and brain activity in children and teenagers, and even kill infants. Still, many adults struggle to keep a healthy diet, and stay healthy, active, and feeling young. It’s obvious to the nation that eating a balanced, healthy diet is important, especially in younger years, so why is it so often looked over when the topic of the elderly is brought up?

Why do the elderly shirk their vitamins, or nursing homes lack focus on diet?

Vitamin, calorie, and overall food intake is all important at every stage of life, and elderly individuals shouldn’t be left out of the group.


Malnutrition is a severe problem that can spawn additional health problems. Starting from something as simple as the absence of a vitamin or two from a diet, terrible consequences may occur. Weight loss to sicknesses, other health disorders, and eventually, the inability to remain self-sufficient are all known causes of malnutrition. In extreme cases, malnutrition can even (and often does) cause death that could be so easily avoided.

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is not only the current leading cause of death in America today, but also among the leading contributors to other, more equally severe disabilities. A leading cause of cardiovascular disease is unhealthy eating. Foods with high amounts fat and carbohydrates send chances of cardiovascular problems sky high. This can lead to heart attacks, heart failure, and other severely traumatic problems. Aneurysms, blood clots, and strokes are also probable issues. A good diet can help to control this.


Diabetes is a disease caused when blood sugar levels are too low or too high. This causes insulin production to vary drastically. After the body begins to do this, diet must be maintained to control the insulin levels of blood as perfectly as possible. Failure to do such can result in tragedies like difficulty breathing, seizures, and even death. Insulin shots are one of the most common options, though other individuals opt for tablets. Either way, dietary nutrition must also be taken into consideration to both control and prevent diabetes in old age.

Renal Disease

Kidney diseases are a severe issue that can be caused by excessive alcohol intake, issues in diet with patients with cardiovascular problems or diabetes, or general old age. Kidney diseases often lead to kidney failure. When this happens, the body is unable to properly cleanse the blood, often resulting in death. Kidney health should be maintained not only through medical treatment but also through diet. If a doctor suggests fluids be decreased, every elderly person should take the advice.


A lack of calcium in the body often results in a disease known as osteoporosis, inflicting patients with severe pain, height loss, and brittle bones. The lack of calcium in the body leaves bones to deteriorate and can cause severe problems for anyone not keeping up with diet, vitamins, and medications. Bones can break, joints can fail, and simple tasks, such as sitting up straight, can become difficult, and even impossible. When this happens, once easy tasks like walking, moving, and daily life often become difficult or impossible to bear.

Nutrition Support

Nutrition is a must for all, including the elderly. So, one must always be sure, by the elderly themselves or by others, that all roads are taken to ensure healthy eating, healthy living, and the exact recommended calorie, vitamin, and liquid and food intake. Doctors and nutritionists can easily give recommendations for what to eat, vitamins to take, and necessary dietary or lifestyle changes that should be made.