Malnutrition in older persons : underestimated, underdiagnosed and undertreated

Marais, M. L. (2017)

CITATION: Marais, M. L. 2017. Malnutrition in older persons : underestimated, underdiagnosed and undertreated. South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 30(2):4-6.

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The right of older persons to enjoy optimal health and live in a dignified manner is protected in various international documents and national legislation.¹⁻⁴ The South African government embraced this obligation by embedding these socio-economic human rights in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996).⁵ Cognisant of the poor socio-economic status of individuals from various vulnerable demographic groups, the South African government implemented a social protection system to improve access to food and provide for living expenses.⁶ It is possible that this grant system contributed to the reported decrease in food insecurity in the last decade,⁷ since social grants have been reported to contribute to 42% of the household income for poor families.⁸ Yet, single interventions such as cash transfers, on their own, are not adequate to ameliorate malnutrition amongst older persons and children.⁹

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