Older adults are at an increased risk for developing malnutrition. Causes include not having enough food to eat, not eating enough healthy foods, or being unable to use the food that you have. Eating a well-balanced diet is important to stay healthy as we age. Proper nutrition helps maintain a healthy weight and provides the energy our bodies need to stay active. Healthy eating also lowers the risk of certain chronic health problems. Nutrition tips and resources. Contact your area agency on aging or local senior center to learn more about available nutrition programs and services in your community. Older Ohioans and malnutrition: Malnutrition is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among older adults. According to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, 33 to 54 percent of older adults are malnourished, yet only about 7 percent are diagnosed. Older adults experiencing food insecurity suffer from higher rates of chronic disease, including diabetes, heart disease and depression. Older adults who have limited access to nutritious food have a lower quality of life and limitations on activities of daily living comparable to individuals 14 years older. The number of older adults visiting food pantries in Ohio increased by 20 percent from 2013 to 2017, with a total of 449,115 people age 60 and older visiting food pantries in the first quarter of 2017. Only 40 percent of eligible Ohioans age 60 and older participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Approximately 264,000 older adults are eligible but not receiving SNAP .