Eating Well and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

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



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


Managing Malnutrition in COPD