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From The CriticsReviewer: David O. Staats, MD (University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center)
Description: This multiauthored book provides a wide-ranging discussion of nutrition in older persons.
Purpose: Its purpose is to serve as a comprehensive textbook on nutrition in older persons. The authors succeed in presenting a wide variety of information.
Audience: The audience is students, trainees, and clinicians who care for older persons.
Features: The 35 chapters are divided to discuss normal nutrition in older persons, pathological nutrition (malnutrition associated with different disease states), and optimal nutrition. The latter deals with obesity and nutrition for bone and brain health. The concluding chapter on ethical dimensions is fitting and reflects the broad scope of the book. The authors and editors stress the differences between nutritional changes due to aging, acute diseases, and chronic wasting illnesses.
Assessment: This is a thorough, well written, and well referenced book. It cites evidence-based medicine and gives the mnemonics for which this group is renowned. The emphasis on the important distinction between starvation, which is responsive to refeeding, and cachexia (seen in wasting illnesses), which is not responsive to refeeding, is masterful. From the observation decades ago that caloric restriction increases age of laboratory mice to the epidemic of obesity facing American society today, and the normative loss of weight with aging, nutrition of the elderly sits at the crossroads of much contemporary medicine and biology. This book serves as a useful map to understand where the future leads. It deserves a wide readership.