Background

The population is aging

and in Sweden over 20% are over 65 years. In Japan this figure is already 30%. Age related frailty is a serious threat to independent living and social participation of senior citizens. A main cause is lack of proper food intake, i.e. sufficient energy as well as nutrients, generally referred to as “anorexia of aging” as well as lack of exercise. This leads to malnutrition which in turn leads to weight loss, frailty and finally to nursing homes, hospitalization, disabilities or even death.

It is estimated that the care costs for malnutrition in Sweden alone are 9 billion SEK/year. Problems with impaired senses of taste and smell, difficulties swallowing as well as sociological factors, lack of exercise and depression are among the contributing factors. A further contributing factor, especially in Japan, is poor oral functions.

 

RISE Agrifood and Bioscience
Gothenburg, Sweden
Mats Stading

 

Fujita Health University
Aichi, Japan
Koichiro Matsuo