Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Food Nutrition Survey - Fresh out of the garden class

A statewide survey was conducted by New York State Office of the Aging and New York State Department of Health to assess the extent of nutritional health risks among older New Yorkers. The “New York State Elderly Nutrition Survey” results show that one out of every four elderly New Yorkers living at home is nutritionally at risk. The survey found that 25 percent or approximately 728,000 New Yorkers aged 60 or older were at risk of malnutrition based on one of the following three factors: • Presence of 2 or more warnings signs of poor nutritional health • 'Food insecurity' including going without meals and inadequate income to buy food as well as other necessities; and/or, • Being homebound and unable to prepare nutritious meals. The survey uses ten warning signs to determine the risk of poor nutritional health. As shown below, each warning sign, if answered "yes," receives a weighted score of 1 to 4 reflecting the importance of the warning sign. These scores are summed; and, a score of 6 or more indicates high nutritional risk. ___Has 3 or more drinks of beer, liquor or wine almost every day (weighting of 2) ___Eats fewer than 2 meals per day (weighting of 3) ___Doesn’t always have enough money to buy the food he/she needs (weighting of 4) ___Has tooth or mouth problems that make it hard for him/her to eat (weighting of 2) ___Without wanting to, he/she has lost or gained 10 pounds in the last 6 months (weighting of 2) ___Is not always physically able to shop, cook and/or feed himself/herself (weighting of 2) ___Takes 3 or more different prescribed or over-the-counter drugs a day (weighting of 1) ___Has an illness or condition that made him/her change foods he/she likes (weighting of 2) ___Eats few fruits or vegetables, or milk products (weighting of 2) ___Eats alone most of the time (weighting of 1) The Elderly Nutrition Survey found 18.5 percent or 539,000 elderly New Yorkers were at high nutritional risk and should consult a qualified professional. The prevalence of individual warning signs ranged from a low of 3 percent who had "3 or more drinks ... every day" to 42 percent who said they eat "alone most of the time." It is recommended that elderly persons at high nutritional risk consult their doctor, dietitian or other qualified health or social service professional. Food insecurity (including going without meals and inadequate income to buy food as well as other necessities) is a serious concern for the elderly. Because of low incomes often coupled with frailty, the elderly may skip meals, may not be able to shop for food or to prepare meals, or may be forced to choose between buying food and paying for other necessities such as medicine, housing and utilities. The Elderly Nutrition Survey found that a total of 11.4 percent or 332,000 elderly New Yorkers experienced at least one of the three food insecurities, ranging from 4 percent who skipped one or more meals to 7 percent who had to choose between buying food and other necessities during the past six months. Elderly persons most at-risk nutritionally are often those, who because of physical incapacity from chronic health problems or following acute hospital stays, are unable to shop, prepare meals or feed themselves. In many cases, family or other informal caregivers provide the assistance the elderly person requires. When such care giving is inadequate or simply not available, the elderly person is determined to need nutritional assistance, which may include nutrition counseling, shopping assistance and the delivery of hot meals to the older person's home. You may be interested in attending one or more free workshops/presentations related to nutrition. Fat Facts is being offered on Monday, August 21st at 10:30am. You will learn about fats – which are the healthiest and which to limit in your diet. You’ll learn tips for adding healthy fats to your meals without sacrificing taste. Information will be presented by Jennifer Johnson, Health Promotion Coordinator, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. Good Bugs for Good Health is being offered on Monday, September 18th at 10:30am. Learn how bacteria affects your gut and the digestive and immune systems, as well as the difference between probiotics and prebiotics. This presentation is also by Jennifer Johnson. Fun Facts and Good Bugs for Good Health are both free to attend. Presentations will take place at The Dale Association, 33 Ontario Street, Lockport. Please call 433-1886 to reserve your seat. Fresh Out of the Garden Cooking Class is being offered on Thursday, August 10th at 10:00am. It is sure to be a fun morning of cooking with fresh in-season ingredients. Four different recipes will be made that include fruits and vegetables of the summer season. Bring containers to take home leftovers and be prepared for fun, laughter, and delicious tastings. The cost for this session is $20 for members or $30 for non-members. Please call 433-1886 or register in person at The Dale Association, 33 Ontario St, Lockport.

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