Nutrition Chapter 1: Undernutrition in America


Which of the following groups of Americans is most at risk of undernutrition?

  • Residents of long-term care facilities
  • School-age children who participate in school lunch programs
  • College freshmen who live in dormitories
  • Individuals who have jobs that require a lot of sitting


Residents of long-term care facilities are most at risk of undernutrition.

Undernutrition, characterized by inadequate intake or absorption of nutrition, is a significant issue, particularly for certain populations. Various factors can contribute to undernutrition, including reduced food intake, malabsorption, increased nutrient requirements, and increased nutrient losses.

Among the options provided, residents of long-term care facilities such as nursing homes are particularly at risk of undernutrition. This can be due to a range of factors such as reduced appetite, difficulties with eating (due to physical or cognitive impairments), or specific diseases which increase nutritional requirements or losses (Meijers, Schols, & Halfens, 2014; Volkert et al., 2019).

School-age children who participate in school lunch programs, college freshmen in dormitories, and individuals with sedentary jobs may have unique nutritional challenges, but they are not typically identified as high-risk groups for undernutrition compared to the elderly in long-term care facilities.


Meijers, J. M., Schols, J. M., & Halfens, R. J. (2014). Malnutrition in care home residents: A multinational, cross-sectional study. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 15(6), 440-446.

Volkert, D., Beck, A. M., Cederholm, T., Cruz-Jentoft, A., Goisser, S., Hooper, L., Kiesswetter, E., Maggio, M., Raynaud-Simon, A., Sieber, C. C., Sobotka, L., van Asselt, D., Wirth, R., & Bischoff, S. C. (2019). ESPEN guideline on clinical nutrition and hydration in geriatrics. Clinical Nutrition, 38(1), 10-47.

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