Appetite Loss in the Older Population

Posted:December 21, 2016

Appetite loss is an overlooked physical change associated with aging. Factors that contribute to appetite loss include a reduced sense of taste and smell, as well as decreased saliva production, dental issues, and medications that can lower one’s appetite or have the side effect of nausea.

Researchers produced a report on this topic last year, “An overview of appetite decline in older people.” The research team says “the physiological changes that occur with ageing that can impair appetite include changes to the digestive system, hormonal changes, disease, pain, changes to the sense of smell, taste and vision and a decreased need for energy.” They also cite an estimate saying that one third of people over age 65 have reduced saliva production.

Social issues are another aspect of appetite loss – many people don’t enjoy eating alone. This is why it’s important to stay active and social throughout one’s retirement after age 65. As always, speak with your doctor if you notice any of the aforementioned physiological changes, and stay in touch with family and friends as you settle into retirement. Many of our clients at Labor First also host monthly retiree events. You can Contact our team of Retiree Advocates or your local union for more information.