White reported risk factors associated with poor nutritional status in the elderly based on surveys performed in 4 countries (England, Canada, Russia and the United States). These can help identify an older patient who may be at risk for a nutritional deficiency. The author is from the University of Tennessee.

Social issues:

(1) living alone, social isolation

(2) poverty, living only on government subsidy



(1) mental disability

(2) depression (recent loss of spouse or friend, etc.)

(3) physical disability

(4) homebound, dependency

(5) advanced age, frailty


Comorbid conditions:

(1) poor dentition or difficulty chewing

(2) difficulty swallowing

(3) multiple comorbid conditions

(4) gastrectomy or malabsorption

(5) multiple medications

(6) recent unintentional weight loss

(7) impairment of sight, taste, smell or hearing



(1) no regular cooked meals

(2) inappropriate food intake

(3) alcohol abuse

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