Nutrition Videos


Interventions to Improve Food Intake

Speakers: H. H. Keller

Presented at: The Role of Nutrition in Dementia Prevention and Management


Nutrition is integrally linked to brain function, cognition, and dementia.Post the diagnosis of dementia, weight loss predominates;weight loss is a common signal event identified at diagnosis. A varietyof hypothesized mechanisms have been suggested to explain whyweight loss is more likely to occur in those with dementia. Regardlessof the cause, low body weight puts these older adults at increasedrisk for functional impairment and comorbidity. With the progressionof dementia, eating behaviors change, impacting the capacityof the older adult to sustain food intake and body weight. A varietyof interventions to support food intake have been trialed, some withgreater success than others. Flexibility in mealtime activities, individualization,increasing choice and social interaction appear to be key.Understanding the importance of the psychosocial environment ofthe meal will improve quality of life of persons with dementia and potentiallysupport continued food intake. The Life Nourishment Theoryprovides a basis for understanding the importance of a shared mealfor older adults with dementia and their family care partners, as wellas opportunities for intervening to improve the mealtime experience