Malnutrition is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among older adults. Due to an array of causes and contributors, older adults, across all population groups, are at an increased risk for developing malnutrition. 1. Older adults experiencing food insecurity suffer from higher rates of chronic disease, including diabetes, heart disease and depression. 2. They also endure a lower quality of life, with limitations on activities of daily living comparable to food-secure seniors who are 14 years older. 3. Conversely, good nutrition has been shown to help support a healthy and active lifestyle, reduce frailty and disability, improve health outcomes, and reduce health disparities and health care costs
The 131st Ohio General Assembly passed Amended Substitute House Bill 580, and Governor
John R. Kasich signed it into law on December 19, 2016, establishing the Malnutrition
Prevention Commission. Am. Sub. HB 580, originally proposed by Senator Gayle Manning
through separate legislation, tasked the Commission with developing recommendations
to reduce the incidence of malnutrition among older Ohioans based on the Commission’s
collection of information and study of malnutrition in the elderly (i.e., 60 years of age and
The Commission studied malnutrition as it relates to healthcare costs and data, education
and awareness, and prevention. The Commission’s findings and recommendations included
in this report are hereby submitted to the Governor and the Ohio General Assembly in
accordance with Ohio Revised Code 101.68.
The following themes emerged based on the research and data gathered by the Commission:
The Population is Shifting in Ohio
• In 2010, four Ohio counties had populations that were more than 25 percent age 60-plus. By 2030, seven counties will be
under that threshold.
• By 2040, nearly 30 percent of all Ohioans will be age 60 or older, compared to just under 20 percent today.