ARTICLES / General /Empty
Refrigerators Could Equal ... /
If you are caring for an elderly loved-one, consider keeping their refrigerator well stocked to keep them healthy. Sounds strange? Well a recently published research letter in an issue of
The Lancet suggests this claim fairly accurate.
According to the report, “Elderly people with empty
refrigerators are more likely to be readmitted to the
hospital after assessment compared with patients with
adequate refrigerator content.” Researchers from Geneva
University Hospital in Switzerland conducted the study.
A total of 132 elderly patients (aged 65 and older)
recently discharged from the hospital for various
aliments were studied. All received routine medical
visits in their homes at least once a month after their
release from the hospital. During the visits, medical
researchers did a thorough assessment of their
refrigerator content; classifying it as adequate,
inadequate or empty.
A classification of adequate meant the seniors contained
the appropriate amounts of different food products to
maintain proper nutrition. An inadequate measure was
based on refrigerators containing rotten foods or
outdated foods. An empty classification proposed there
were less than three different food products in the
Additional data collected included variables such as
body mass index, biological markers and nutrition. In
addition, social data was collected and proved to be a
valuable measure. According to a report on Aging-Related
Statistics published in 2000 by the Federal Interagency
Forum, seniors who are socially active are more likely
to have better physical and mental health.
Patients were evaluated for at least three months, and
the numbers and exact dates of hospital admission were
calculated within the figure. The study recorded that of
the 132 refrigerators assessed, 119 or 90% were
classified as having adequate or inadequate food content
and 13 or 10% were considered empty. The patients with
an empty refrigerator, compared to patients with a full
refrigerator, did not differ in age, gender, body mass
index, or socially.