Elder insecurities: poverty, hunger, and malnutrition

N S Wellman, D O Weddle, S Kranz, C T Brain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Between 8% and 16% (2.5 to 4.9 million) of the elder population have experienced food insecurity within a 6-month period. Federal programs to combat food insecurity reach only one-third of needy elders. While hunger and poverty are linked directly to malnutrition, the multifaceted nature of elderly malnutrition cuts across all economic, racial, and ethnic groups. Malnourished patients experience 2 to 20 times more complications, have up to 100% longer hospital stays, and compile hospital costs $2,000 to $10,000 higher per stay. Dietitians can advocate routine nutrition screening to target elders at highest risk and lobby for expansion of appropriate nutrition services in home, community, and institutional settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S120-2
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number10 Suppl 2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1997


  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hunger
  • Male
  • Nutrition Disorders
  • Poverty
  • United States


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