The national Nutrition Screening Initiative has developed a checklist to remind you of the warning signs of poor nutrition. The list forms the word DETERMINE:
Disease. Physical illness or depression can affect eating habits and put your nutritional health at risk as a result.
Eating poorly. Eating both too much and too little can lead to poor health.
Tooth loss/mouth pain. Missing, loose, or rotten teeth or dentures that don't fit well can make it difficult for you to eat.
Economic hardship. If you are unable to spend or choose to spend less than $35 to $50 per week on food, that makes it difficult for you to get adequate nutrition.
Reduced social contact. Spending time with others daily has a positive effect on your well-being and eating habits.
Multiple medicines. The more medicines you take, the greater the chance for side effects such as increased or decreased appetiti, changes in taste, constipation, weakness, drowsiness, diarrhea, nausea and other side effects.
Involuntary weight loss or gain. Losing or gaining a lot of weight unintentionally is a serious warning sigh.
Needs assistance in self care. While most older people are able to eat, you may have trouble shopping, buying and/or cooking food.
Elder years above age 80. As you get older, the risk of frailty and health problems increase. That is why checking your nutritional health is so important.
Source: The Nutrition Screening Initiative, Washington, DC.
Information Provided by South Haven/Gracehouse of Lubbock.