Did you know that between 15% and 30% of older adults experience a decrease in appetite? The impacts of this are associated with worse health outcomes and an increased risk of dying. Source: National Institutes of Health/National Library of Medicine
Seven tips to boost your appetite
Many people experience a loss of appetite. Several factors could be contributing to a decrease in the desire to eat — from dental or sinus issues, side effects of medication or being a smoker — to loneliness, a loss of taste and smell, effects of COVID-19 or conditions that affect the central nervous system. A loss of appetite is concerning because when you eat less than your body needs, you could become malnourished and vitamin-deficient. You could also lose strength, weight and the ability to stay independent.
Some tips to help make meal-time more enjoyable:
- Plan out your meals. Consider preparing a few dishes at a time and freeze them in individual portions.
- Add flavor to your dishes. Try different spices or herbs or add a tropical twist (lemon, mango or coconut).
- If you live alone, aim to eat at least one meal per week with someone else.
- Make your meals an occasion: sit down at a table, use pretty dishes and listen to music.
- Make sure you’re eating nutrient-rich meals; not necessarily larger portions.
- Try eating five or six smaller meals throughout the day, rather than three large ones.
- If you don’t like to cook or don’t have the skills, consider using a meal delivery program.
As always, talk with your healthcare provider if you have concerns about your appetite or if you experience new or different symptoms.Stanford Health CareSource: