Micronutrient deficiencies in the elderly - Could ready meals be part of the solution?
Micronutrient deficiencies contribute to many age-related disorders. One group at particular risk of micronutrient deficiencies is the elderly. Many elderly, such as the frail and those living in institutions, rely on ready meals of variable, often poor, nutritional quality for a significant part of their daily nutritional needs. New policies are needed to ensure that micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and phytochemicals of known nutritional value are retained during the manufacture of ready meals. This together with increased awareness of the importance of micronutrients for health, and simple, clear labelling of the micronutrient content of ready meals would help in the choice of healthier products. Professionally prepared ready meals monitored by nutritionists and dietitians can help achieve these goals so that ready meals become part of the solution to poor nutrition in the elderly, rather than being viewed as part of the problem.