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A Canadian peer-reviewed journal of population health and health services research

March 2013

Nutritional risk among older Canadians

by Pamela L. Ramage-Morin and Didier Garriguet

Nutritional risk is the risk of poor nutritional status, which lies on a continuum between "nutritional health" and malnutrition. Adults in later life are particularly vulnerable. Age-related physiological changes such as diminished appetite and impaired senses—notably, taste and smell—contribute to nutritional risk. Diseases and medications that interfere with the ingestion, absorption and metabolism of food are also factors. Reduced mobility may limit food shopping and meal preparation. Social and economic circumstances—financial constraints, eating alone, and the absence of help with shopping and cooking—may contribute to nutritional risk. Psychological factors such as depression, grief and loneliness are also associated with nutritional risk among older people, as are aspects of the physical environment, such as grocery store locations, the availability and affordability of public transport, and geographic isolation.

Trajectories of psychological distress among Canadian adults who experienced parental addiction in childhood

by Kellie A. Langlois and Rochelle Garner

Childhood experiences can influence mental health into adulthood. Physical and sexual abuse and neglect in childhood have been shown to have long-term negative health outcomes, including depression, anxiety and anger. In a study of harmful childhood exposures, substance abuse by a household member was the most common.