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Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing

The Octogenarian Cooks – Looking at the Nutrition and Eating Habits of Older People

5 October 2017

For the second year running, MICRA teamed up with Cracking Good Food to run The Octogenarian Cooks event at Manchester Food and Drink Festival.

Octogenarian Cooks event
The Octogenarian Cooks event, October 2017.

This event took place on the afternoon of Wednesday, 4 October and was a great success.

Thirty older people participated in cooking and sharing food, with the help of some great volunteers, and the proceedings were led by Cracking Good Foods, chef Maz Linford and Kingsley Purdam from the University of Manchester co-ordinating the event.

Research behind the Octogenarian Cooks event shows eating and good nutrition in older age can be a challenge. One million older people aged have unmet social care needs. 12 per cent of people aged 65 years and older often or sometimes: “skimp on food so others in the household have enough to eat”.

Kingsley Purdam states: "The Octogenarian Cooks event links with ongoing research into food insecurity in older age which has included interviewing older people using food banks. Welfare reform and austerity in the UK has led to reductions in public spending on support services for older people. 1.6 million pensioners live below the poverty line. Under-nutrition is a major cause of functional decline. It can lead to poorer health outcomes, delays in recovery from illness and longer periods in hospital."

The older people participating at the event came from various community groups such as Inspire in Levenshulme and Ancoats and Chorlton Good Neighbours. The afternoon was enjoyed by all, with everyone getting at tasty and hearty meal at the end! The Octogenarian Cooks event was supported by the University Social Responsibility Office.

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