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The Malnutrition Task Force

Established in 2012, the Malnutrition Task Force raises awareness and provides information and practical guidance for everyone to help combat preventable undernutrition and dehydration in later life.

The Malnutrition Task Force is united to combat preventable and avoidable malnutrition and dehydration among older people in the UK. We believe that good nutrition and hydration are fundamental to delivering dignified care and enabling older people to live fulfilling and independent lives. 

The Malnutrition Task Force was established in 2012 by Dianne Jeffrey CBE DL and is supported by Age UK, apetito, BAPEN, and Nutricia.

What is malnutrition?

Malnutrition (undernutrition) is characterised by low body weight or weight loss, which simply means that some older people are not eating well enough to maintain their health and well-being. 

Malnutrition is a real issue in the UK. It is estimated that around one in ten people over the age of 65 are malnourished or are at risk of malnutrition - that’s over one million older people in the UK today. Malnutrition is both a cause and a consequence of ill health and is a silent and, all too often, hidden problem.

It will affect health and wellbeing, increasing hospital admissions, and can lead to long-term health problems for otherwise healthy and independent older people. It can also mean more visits to the GP, increased chances of being admitted to hospital and longer recovery times from illness.

Find out more about malnutriton and tips for eating well here

What are the MTF doing?

We believe tackling malnutrition is everybody’s business. The MTF works with partners across sectors and settings to raise awareness of undernutrition in later life and its causes, provide information and guidance, and spread best practice and innovation to improve the lives of older people in the UK.

Along with many other resources, we have developed a self-screening toolkit which can be used by older people and those who care for them, to identify if someone is at risk of becoming malnourished. We recently published our booklet, Eating Well in Later Life, to bring together helpful and practical tips on eating and keeping well as life changes.

Find out more at or follow us on twitter @MalnutritionTF

Visit the Malnutrition Task Force website for more information

For more information call the Age UK Advice Line on 0800 169 65 65 (8am-7pm, 365 days a year).  

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Last updated: Sep 20 2022

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