UK Malnutrition Awareness Week

The first ever UK Malnutrition Awareness Week will be taking place form 1st – 5th of October 2018.

Staff from the Centre for Research in Public Health and Community Care (CRIPACC) and students from the University of Hertfordshire will be working in a number of community settings across Hertfordshire with colleagues at Hertfordshire Independent Living Services and BAPEN (British Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition) to screen older people for malnutrition. Other organisations including community NHS trusts and social care providers will also be involved.

Data on malnutrition is not collected routinely in the community, so there are no accurate data on the numbers of people affected. This week will begin to collect this data, raise awareness of the issues and challenge some of the myths associated with nutrition and ageing, for example, the idea that it is normal to lose weight and have a poor appetite as you get older.

Malnutrition is a serious issue, affecting around 1.3 million people in the UK. The week will encourage communities to screen loved ones/older people in our care as many people have little idea of how to spot signs of malnutrition or how serious the consequences can (falls, hospitalisation, infection etc).

CRIPACC is taking the opportunity to launch their new Food Security Game, developed with Focus Games which aims to raise awareness of food security in later life and encourages people to think of solutions; and a short film ‘Food in Later Life’. The game was developed from a study exploring vulnerabilities of older people in the UK food system funded by the ESRC.

On the 3rd October, CRIPACC will be showing part of the exhibition developed to communicate the findings from the study; demonstrating the game and showing the film at the Jubilee Centre in St Albans. This event will form a focus for media activity, screening of local politicians and older people.

The game can be accessed here

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