ORLANDO, Fla. (January 25, 2017) – After moving to a long-term care facility, 80-year-old Sarah had no appetite and began losing weight. She had little energy and was increasingly quiet. Her daughters and caregivers were concerned and did all they could to encourage Sarah to eat.
There are many Sarahs across America. Unintended weight loss among high-risk geriatric adults is a common and potentially life-threatening problem in U.S. hospitals and extended care facilities. In hospitals, disease-related malnutrition triples mortality among patients aged 65 years and above. Nearly two out of three residents (65 percent) in long-term care experience malnutrition and unintended weight loss, leading to a myriad of health issues.
In the 12-week study commissioned by Thrive Frozen Nutrition, participants on Thrive Ice Cream gained nearly five times more weight than those on other common dietary supplements. Specifically, those receiving two six-ounce servings of Thrive daily averaged a 6.13 pounds weight gain. Those receiving two six-ounce servings of Medipass 2.0 and Magic Cup daily averaged a 1.28-pound weight gain. The control group (no supplements) lost weight.
Alan Gessel, president of Thrive Frozen Nutrition’s Healthcare Division, explained that for fortified foods to be effective in stopping unintended weight loss among patient populations of any age, they must not only meet the added nutritional needs of patients, they must also be appetizing, good tasting and well tolerated.
“A fortified food product is not nutrition until it’s consumed. Unappetizing foods or shakes are unlikely to be consumed and are ineffective in stopping weight loss and a waste of money. Thrive Ice Cream clears both hurdles, delivering complete nutrition and the flavor and texture of real ice cream patients love. Nutrition and dietary compliance are high, which is why we saw a higher weight gain among study participants on Thrive,” Gessel said.
Unintended weight loss in high-risk geriatric patients can result from changes in taste and smell, chronic or acute diseases, an inability to digest and absorb nutrients, dental problems, dysphagia, or medications affecting appetite. Dementia, depression, anxiety, and grief are other contributors as are the unfamiliar surroundings of a hospital or long-term care facility.
Originally developed for the healthcare industry, Thrive Ice Cream is certified Real Dairy and delivers complete, balanced nutrition. A six-ounce serving contains 270 calories, nine grams of high quality milk protein, six grams of natural soluble fiber, four strains of live active probiotics, and 24 vitamins and minerals. Available in four flavorful varieties—vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and no sugar added vanilla—Thrive is gluten free, low lactose, certified kosher, and has no HFCS or palm oil. It melts to either a honey thick or nectar thick consistency based on flavor and is suitable for a majority of dysphagia patients.