Why is it important for people with COPD to eat well?
Eating a balanced and varied diet is vital for maintaining good health and can help people with COPD to maintain a healthy weight, preserve strength and fitness as well as fight infections.
People with COPD often have increased energy needs as their bodies must work harder to breathe and fight infections.
However, COPD may affect eating and drinking in many ways, such as:
- Increased effort to eat and lengthy eating due to shortness of breath, coughing, increased mucus production and chest infections
- Loss of appetite and feeling full quickly
- Unintentional weight loss with increased risk of malnutrition
- Low mood and feelings of anxiety reducing enjoyment of food
- Reduced physical fitness and muscle strength which may affect food shopping, cooking and meal preparation
- Dry mouth and taste changes due to oxygen therapy, nebulisers or inhalers which can make chewing and swallowing more difficult
Useful Resources and Links
Please click on the images and website links
- Nutritional information for those at LOW, MEDIUM or HIGH risk of Malnutrition, from www.malnutritionpathway.co.uk:
EATING WELL FOR YOUR LUNGS
IMPROVING YOUR NUTRITION IN COPD
NUTRITION SUPPORT IN COPD
- Further information on Malnutrition from www.bda.uk.com:
- Factsheets and Videos on Poor Appetite – Food First and Homemade Nourishing Drinks from www.bfwh.nhs.uk/communitydietetics
- Support with food shopping and Preparing Meals
The information on these webpages are not suitable for individuals with diabetes, following a renal diet or those with a lactose intolerance or a milk protein allergy. For individuals requiring a texture modified diet, follow guidelines which have been recommended by their Speech and Language Therapist.
NHS Patient Webinar:
COPD - Nutrition Advice & Eating With A Poor Appetite (05/01/2021):
Listen to NHS national experts discuss tips on how to manage your food intake and look after your nutrition in order to stay healthy with a diagnosis of COPD.
For Further support
Please click on the images:
For healthcare professionals:
Practical guide to assist healthcare professionals in identifying and managing people with COPD who are malnourished or ‘at risk’ of Malnutrition from www.malnutritionpathway.co.uk