Alarming reports show three million individuals in the UK are at risk of malnutrition, as Victorian diseases have made a startling comeback in recent years.
Experts issued a warning today, highlighting the quadrupling of malnutrition cases since 2007/08, with 11,000 people being hospitalised for the condition last year alone.
The cost-of-living crisis is believed to be a contributing factor, as the rising prices of fruits and vegetables have become unaffordable for many families.
While malnutrition has rarely been seen since the Victorian era, health officials have raised concerns about the resurgence of other Victorian diseases, such as measles, in the UK.
Dr Amir Khan, a medic known for his appearances on This Morning and other TV shows, emphasised the importance of early detection in combating malnutrition. He urged individuals to seek help if they notice a loved one becoming frail, experiencing significant changes in eating habits, or struggling with swallowing, particularly if they have pre-existing conditions.
He said malnutrition is “not an easy condition to spot, but early detection is key and will reduce the chances of further deterioration and hospital admission”.
He added: “So, if you have a loved one you’re concerned about who may be growing more frail, or has had a dramatic change in eating habits or difficulty swallowing, then make sure you speak to a health professional or carer, particularly if they have a pre-existing condition.”
Research published by global food company Danone this week shed light on the lack of awareness surrounding malnutrition. The study revealed half of the public cannot identify its symptoms, while a third would not know where to seek help if affected.
If left unaddressed, malnutrition poses a ticking time-bomb for the nation’s health, according to the research.
Malnutrition occurs when the body does not receive sufficient nutrients, often due to existing diseases or illnesses. Astonishingly, 62 percent of the 2,000 participants surveyed were unable to define malnutrition.
The study also highlighted misconceptions about the symptoms of malnutrition. More than half (54 percent) incorrectly believed fainting and seizures were key indicators, while 40 percent thought abdominal cramps and 34 percent believed jaundice were signs of the condition.
Key symptoms and signs of malnutrition:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Loose fitting clothes
- Feeling weak
Older individuals are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition, with more than a million Britons aged over 65 estimated to be affected. However, the actual figures could be higher due to low screening rates. Surprisingly, 95 percent of those polled in this age group expressed no concern about the possibility of experiencing malnutrition.
The research further revealed individuals over the age of 66 are more likely to lose interest in consuming healthy, nutritious meals. Additionally, half of this age group admitted to not consuming an adequate amount of fresh fruits and vegetables.
This article was crafted with the help of AI tools, which speed up Express.co.uk’s editorial research. A news editor reviewed this content before it was published. You can report any errors to [email protected].
Post source: Express
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