Tea and Toast Syndrome
Synopsis: Article explains Tea and Toast Syndrome including common symptoms when seniors do not prepare wholesome meals and limit their dietary intake to tea and toast at the expense of vital nutrients and their health. As Baby Boomers continue to age, we need to provide them with counseling and resources on easy foods with a higher nutritional value such as bananas, cheese sticks or low-fat flavored yogurt. "Tea and Toast Syndrome" leads to reduced calories and a gradual loss of wellness and muscle due to poor protein intake.
Elderly people who live on their own that don't prepare whole meals or don't know how, tend to dwindle their intake to "tea and toast" at the expense of vital nutrients and their health, according to an article published in the February issue of Food Nutrition & Science.
The syndrome often manifests itself as hyponatremia, a low concentration of the electrolyte sodium in the bloodstream, due to the lack of salt in the diet. Hyponatremia can lead to various neurological problems, ranging from headaches and a decreased ability to think, to seizures and coma in the most severe cases.
According to Nutritionist Ellie Wilson, MS, RD of Price Chopper Supermarkets, "Tea and Toast Syndrome" leads to reduced calories and a gradual loss of wellness and muscle due to poor protein intake. Wilson says research is showing that snacking may be a great way for seniors to meet their needs.
A person experiencing tea and toast syndrome will limit their diet due to a variety of reasons including a lack of desire to eat, inability to prepare proper meals, trouble chewing or swallowing, limited funds, or difficulty getting food into the house. It is especially common in those who live alone.
"As Baby Boomers continue to age, we need to provide them with counseling and resources on easy foods with a higher nutritional value such as bananas, cheese sticks or low-fat flavored yogurt," says Phil Lempert, founder of Food Nutrition & Science and CEO of The Lempert Report, "This provides an opportunity for supermarkets and retailers to work directly with their customers to help them navigate the market to find easy, affordable and healthful solutions."
Tea and Toast Syndrome often occurs once children have moved away, and/or a partner has died or is dying. An elderly person with nobody left to cook for, or without the skills to cook, will frequently revert to a diet of simple foods such as bread, cheese and crackers, and canned foods. Symptoms of senior malnutrition can include:
- Pale skin
- Peptic ulcers
- Muscle weakness
- Memory problems
- Slow healing wounds
- Weak immune system
- Unexplained weight loss
- Dizziness, falls, or fainting
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Cite This Page (APA): Disabled World. (2011, March 1). Tea and Toast Syndrome. Disabled World. Retrieved September 22, 2023 from www.disabled-world.com/news/seniors/tea-toast.php
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