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Over a million pensioners 'suffer from malnutrition'

Age UK warn over a million over 65's don't have enough food to eat

A million pensioners in Con-Dem Britain don't have enough food to eat, charity Age UK warned yesterday.

It said one million people aged 65 and over "suffer from or are at risk of malnutrition" and the health problems which accompany it.

The problem is so widespread that even the Tories and their Liberal Democrat collaborators are being forced to take action.

Five areas of Britain will test schemes to fight the problem, starting in January with Lambeth and Southwark in London and Salford in Greater Manchester.

Volunteers from local Age UK groups will help.

Lenny Kinnear of Age UK Lambeth said the charity believes that one in 10 people over 65 suffer from malnutrition, meaning about 2,500 people in Lambeth.

He said the Lambeth scheme might include advice on exercise and healthy eating.

"Older people go for regular health checks and the idea is that when they get the prescription they get some information on nutrition and exercise," Mr Kinnear said.

"We would like the GPs to refer them to us. We can give them an adviser who will pair them up with people locally who will befriend them and volunteer to go shopping and things like that."

People who are malnourished experience increased ill-health, hospital admissions and risk of infections. It also takes them longer to recover from surgery.

Malnourished people see their GP twice as often as others and go into hospital three times more often than well-fed people.

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