Are you worried about poor appetite, unintentional weight loss or malnutrition?

18 Feb 2015 Written by Kizzy Harris

Our Diabetes and Nutrition service works closely with patients who have a poor appetite, and who may have experienced unintentional weight loss and / or malnutrition as a result.

These patients tend to be:

  • Older people over the age of 65, particularly if they are living in a care home or nursing home or have been admitted to hospital.
  • People with long-term conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease, and chronic lung disease.
  • People with chronic, progressive conditions – for example, dementia or cancer.
  • People who abuse drugs or alcohol.

Often, physical factors can increase the need for nutritional support, for example:

  • Eating may be difficult because of a painful mouth or teeth.
  • Swallowing may be more difficult or painful.
  • Losing your sense of smell or taste may affect your appetite.
  • Being unable to cook for yourself may result in reduced food intake.
  • Limited mobility or lack of transport may make it difficult to get food.


What can patients and carers do if they are worried about a poor appetite?

if an older person is less able to feed themselves and becomes malnourished, this will make them more susceptible to disease, which in turn will make their nutritional state worse and impair recovery.

Read our information sheet Eating well with a poor appetite, which contains simple practical steps which you or your family can take to increase food intake.