Older people

Maintaining a healthy weight, drinking enough fluids and eating a balanced diet can help you stay healthy and active as you get older.

Managing a healthy weight

Being overweight can make it harder to get around and increase your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Equally, any sudden loss of weight can also indicate a health problem. Talk to your GP if you’re worried about your weight.

The Eatwell Guide has lots of information about how to have a healthy, balanced diet. If you have any special dietary requirements or medical needs, talk to your GP or a registered dietician about adapting the Eatwell guidelines.

Getting enough to drink

Even if you don’t feel thirsty, your body needs water. Signs of dehydration include:

  • darker urine than usual or not passing much urine when you go to the toilet
  • headaches
  • feeling confused or irritable, or finding it hard to concentrate.

Losing your appetite

As we get older, our appetite can decrease. Even if you don’t feel like eating, it’s still important to have a healthy balanced diet to get all the energy and nutrients you need.

If you are underweight and your appetite has decreased, try not to fill up on foods that are high in saturated fat or sugar like cakes, biscuits and sugary drinks.

Staying active

Physical activity helps you stay healthy, mobile and independent. It also helps keep the heart healthy and lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke. Keeping active can also improve your appetite.

If you’re underweight, have mobility problems or a disability talk to your GP or practice nurse before starting any physical activity.

More on this topic


​Eatwell Guide Booklet

The Eatwell Guide shows the proportions in which different types of foods are needed to have a well-balanced and healthy diet.


Managing health issues

The food you eat can make a big difference to your wellbeing.