NUTRITION myths are busted in a booklet from in-home care provider Home Instead Senior Care and dietician and author Ngaire Hobbins entitled “Nutrition for seniors: A guide to healthy habits for eating well as you age”. “Research has found that up to 30 per cent of older people living in the community are either malnourished or at risk of malnutrition,” Ms Hobbins said. “This is generally the result of our lack of awareness that seniors have different nutrition needs and their eating patterns need to change with age to support their physical and mental capacity.” She said myths included: 1. Your stomach shrinks as you age: Your appetite may change but your stomach doesn’t shrink as you get older. Not eating well enough accelerates the ageing process. 2. Weight loss is healthy: This is not the case when you are older. Dieting or unintentional weight loss should be avoided and having a bit of extra padding at a later age can provide essential support to your body and brain for the years to come. 3. Drink water only when you are thirsty: If you feel thirsty, you are slightly dehydrated. Dehydration can bring on confusion, hinder kidney function and worsens a range of other conditions. 4. Supplements are sufficient: Many supplements are unable to live up to their claims. A lot also interact with common medications or they don’t work the way they’re intended to if you had consumed them from food instead. 5. Always eat a “proper” meal: Five or six small meals or well-chosen snacks can be just as beneficial as eating three full meals a day.