n Health SA Gesondheid - The nutrition situation of free-living elderly in Umlazi township, South Africa : original research

Volume 18, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1025-9848



The risk for non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, stroke and ischaemic heart disease in the elderly continues to be on the increase. It is shaped and modified by factors such as economic status and experiences across the whole lifespan. Although malnutrition in this population could be due to poor dietary practices, the nutrition transition of communities in South Africa is partially responsible for nutritional problems. Because of the degree of dependency on others for help and care in communities, the elderly are at risk for malnutrition. The elderly of the Umlazi community are overburdened with the social responsibility of grandchildren and trying to bring stability by managing various households. This becomes a double burden and puts more strain on their quality of life, further impacting on their nutritional status.

Die risiko vir chroniese siektes soos hipertensie, diabetes, beroerte en hartkwaal is steeds baie hoog in die bejaardes in Suid Afrika. Dit word deur faktore soos ekonomiese status en ervarings oor die hele lewesiklus gevorm en verander. Voedings probleme wat geïndentifiseer is in die studie hou verband met dieettekorte, alhoewel probleme met oorvoeding verband kan hou met die voedings oorgang wat plaasvind in Suid Afrikaanse gemeenskappe. In verskeie gemeenskappe, as gevolg van die graad van afhanklikheid van ander vir hulp en sorg, is die bejaardes blootgestel aan die risiko van wanvoeding. Die bejaardes van die Umlazi gemeenskap is oorlaai met die sosiale verantwoordelikheid van kleinkinders en probeer om verskeie huishoudings te stabiliseer, wat 'n dubbele las op hulle plaas en dit kan hulle lewenskwaliteit affekteer wat dan hul voedingstatus verder kan vererger.

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