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Quiz: Nutrition and Older Adults

Successful Aging

By Michael Turner – Senior Helpers of Lincolnwood

Good nutrition is important throughout our lives, and the basic dietary guidelines are pretty much the same for people of all ages. But nutrition plays a special role in healthy aging. Try your hand at this trivia quiz to see how much you know about the special nutritional needs and concerns of older adults. Answers are at the end.

1. The average person gains 10 to 20 pounds from age 45 to 65. This is…

a. normal and desirable. We need a little extra fat to keep us warm

b. to be avoided. A person's recommended weight remains the same throughout adulthood

c. unusual. Few people gain weight as they grow older

d. caused only by growing older, and not by inactivity or overeating

2. Being significantly underweight…

a. is a "red flag" for possible health problems

b. is great-the thinner the better

c. can lead to fatigue, mental confusion, and depression

d. a and c

3. Poor diet in older adults can lead to…

a. osteoporosis

b. mental confusion

c. increased risk of falls

d. all of the above

4. If a person has Parkinson's, stroke, arthritis, or other condition that makes eating difficult, he or she…

a. will never be able to relearn independent eating

b. should not rely on adaptive devices like long-handled spoons

c. can get help from an occupational therapist

d. should be discouraged from trying to feed him or herself

5. People with heart disease should limit their intake of…

a. cholesterol, saturated fat, and sodium (salt)

b. citrus fruit

c. whole grains

d. soy products

6. Loss of appetite can be caused by…

a. depression and loneliness

b. certain medications

c. tooth or denture problems

d. all of the above

7. Which of these foods does not contain cholesterol?

a. Avocado

b. Turkey

c. Cheese

d. Eggs

8. Older adults are the age group most likely to…

a. be able to get all the nutrients they need from food sources alone

b. be targeted by sellers of fraudulent nutritional products and supplements

c. prepare a home-cooked meal every night

d. eat in a social setting

9. Seniors on a limited income may skimp on nutritious foods. Help may be available through...

a. Meals on Wheels

b. congregate eating centers, like Senior Hot Lunch

c. food stamps

d. all of the above

10. Chewing and swallowing difficulties can be caused by…

a. poorly fitted dentures

b. missing teeth

c. stroke

d. all of the above


1=B; 2=D; 3=D; 4=C; 5=A; 6=D; 7=A; 8=B; 9=D; 10=D.