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Patients scoring over 3 are at risk. GDS, geriatric depression score.

Patients scoring over 3 are at risk. GDS, geriatric depression score.

Table 3 MEALS ON WHEELS: common causes of undernutrition in older persons

Medication (e.g., digoxin, theophylline, psychotropic drugs)

Emotional (depression)

Anorexia, alcoholism

Late-life paranoia

Swallowing disorders

Oral and dental disease

No money (absolute or relative poverty)

Wandering (dementia, behavioral disorders)

Hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism

Entry problems (malabsorption)

Eating problems

Low-salt or low-cholesterol diets

Shopping and food preparation problems different clinical settings. The simple mnemonic MEALS ON WHEELS, also devised by Morley, may prove useful in prompting consideration of the risk factors and common causes of nutritional compromise (Table 3).

More recently, the Council of Nutrition Appetite Questionnaire has been validated for the evaluation of appetite in older adults. A unique feature of this appetite assessment tool is the ability to predict significant weight loss (Table 4).

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Do you love a drink from time to time? A lot of us do, often when socializing with acquaintances and loved ones. Drinking may be beneficial or harmful, depending upon your age and health status, and, naturally, how much you drink.

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