This weekend's Food Festival 2019 in Aarhus had not only samples of food but also a serious political topic on the menu. In a new "Health and Sustainability" tent at the festival experts and head politicians debated undernutrition in elderly citizens and patients. 

Debate on undernutrition at Food Festival in Aarhus 2019px.jpg

Debate in a tent at the yearly Food Festival i Aarhus. For the first time undernutrition in elderly was given a special focus. Foto: Rune Borre-Jensen, Central Denmark Region 

In the health-tent at the food festival there was a one and a half hour dialogue on issues causing and preventing undernutrition in the elderly. 

It is a complex challenge as a lot of things can lead to undernutrition - both physical, mentally and socially. Many stated that this area lacks documentation and research. 

Some fact were mentioned: 

  • 42 pct. of elderly citizens in assisted living facilities experience a weightloss in a six month period.
  • 43 pct. of the elderly patients in geriatric departments loose weight during hospitalisation. 
  • In Denmark, the estimated expenses due to consequences of undernutrition in elderly adds up to six billion Danish Kroner (DKK) a year. (For instance more homecare, visits at local practitioner, readmissions to hospitals, longer hospitalisation etc.)

The debate panel was: Chairman in Central Denmark Region Anders Kühnau, Mayor of Aarhus Municipality Jacob Bundsgaard, member of Kost- og Ernæringsforbundet Birgitte Vang Hansen, Associated Professor at Aarhus University Susanne Højlund and Managing Director of Madkulturen Judith Kyst. 

Chairman on undernutrition


Chairman of the Regional Council in Central Denmark Region Anders Kühnau gave a statement on undernutrition in elderly. 

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