State of the State: Malnutrition among Florida’s Senior Population, A Proposal for Living Healthy in Florida

Malnutrition is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among older adults with up to one out of two seniors being either at risk of becoming or are currently malnourished (Defeat Malnutrition Today, 2017). Due to a combination of causes and contributors, adults above the age of 60 across the population groups are at an increased risk of developing malnutrition (Fávaro-Moreira, 2016). Florida has 5.3 million seniors age 60 and older which makes up 26% of the total population and currently ranks first in the nation for the 65 and older population. Florida’s senior population is expected to increase to 35% of the population at 7.1 million seniors in Florida by 2030 with seniors projected to outnumber youth in Florida by 2025. With this projected growth of seniors it is crucial to consider the cost of malnutrition to the State as well. Florida ranks third for the highest spending on seniors age 65 plus among all states at an estimated $350,000,000 annually. There is estimated to be over one billion dollars spent annually in the state of Florida on medical costs associated with malnutrition alone.

This study assesses Florida’s senior population related to malnutrition and provides insight into potential solutions to address senior malnutrition.