Food insecurity — when people lack access to food or go hungry due to poverty or other challenges — remains a serious problem for many older adults. A new study finds that more than 25% of people with both Medicaid and Medicare, the dual eligibles, said they were food insecure. Among all older adults in the survey, food insecurity was most common (6.2%) in those 75 to 84; it was least common (4.8%) in adults 85 and older.
Social issues such as hunger, inadequate housing, social isolation and poverty are linked to poor health, especially as we age. Continue reading
Photo: Amanda Mills/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Long before the novel coronavirus ever surfaced, millions of older adults struggled with food insecurity. The COVID-19 pandemic has further compounded their ability to obtain healthy food or eat balanced, nutritious meals. One reason: older adults who rely on senior centers for a daily hot meal and important socialization find themselves shut in, unable to access important federal or state nutrition programs, fearful of trips to the supermarket, or without adequate financial and other means to do so.
While food banks and home meal delivery volunteers are trying to pick up some of the slack, some vulnerable older adults find themselves standing in long lines to pick up groceries or a sandwich. Continue reading
In late September 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture finalized rules to deregulate the safety inspection process in pork production and to increase the slaughter of animals, despite the opposition of consumer advocates and several former agency officials.
The new rules allow company employees, rather than USDA inspectors, to determine which parts of meat with defects can be removed from the slaughter process. Companies, instead of USDA inspectors, also will be allowed to determine slaughter speeds, based on their ability to prevent fecal contamination. Continue reading
“Too much red meat can cause cancer.” It’s a depressing statement for the bacon and beef lovers out there, but it’s a part of nearly every major medical organization’s evidence-based guidelines for several years.
In fact, as I was covering the North American Menopause Society’s annual meeting last weekend, the session on lifestyle risk factors for breast cancer specifically included limiting consumption of red meat and processed meats as one of the 10 recommendations for reducing cancer risk from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund. Continue reading
Here’s another reason to eat your broccoli: It’s a great source of Vitamin K that may help decrease the risk of mobility loss and independence.
A recent study from Tufts University found that low circulating levels of this vitamin are tied to an increased risk of mobility limitation and disability in older adults. Older adults with low circulating vitamin K levels were nearly 1.5 times more likely to develop mobility limitations and nearly twice as likely to develop mobility disability compared with those showing sufficient levels, regardless of gender. Continue reading
People do what they must to survive, says the subject of a story by Lisa Gillespie, health reporter at NPR affiliate WFPL in Louisville, Kentucky. Even if it means traveling three hours back and forth to a food pantry, then lifting heavy bags that likely will exacerbate chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Continue reading