Dementia: How condition affects your eating – craving of a certain food group is a sign

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Dementia is set to become more prevalent in the coming decades as populations age. Changes to eating habits including new food cravings are surprising early signs to be aware of.

A person with dementia may find eating difficult.

Symptoms such as loss of appetite, loss of memory and problems with judgement can cause difficulties with food, eating and nutrition.

Those suffering with the brain degenerative condition may also forget how to chew and swallow or may be distracted by their environment. said: “As most caregivers know, many people who have dementia experience sudden changes in appetite which can lead to appetite loss, weight loss or increased cravings of foods and weight gain.

“Often people with dementia don’t taste food and experience flavour like they once did, which can change appetite preferences.

“Because taste buds are diminished as people age, people with dementia opt for heavy foods or foods with a lot of flavour.”


Dementia may cause some people to overeat or even develop an insatiable appetite.

Craving sweet foods may also be an early eating symptom.

Studies show that dementia attacks the area of the brain – prefrontal cortex – responsible for self-restraint in food choices.

Many people with frontotemporal dementia develop a number of unusual behaviours they’re not aware of.

Symptoms of the condition, according to the NHS, include overeating and a change in food preferences.

A study which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that even without having the pre-existing condition of diabetes, sugar and dementia are still directly correlated and that a blood sugar level above normal can contribute to an elevated risk of contracting dementia.

Main signs of dementia which should not be ignored include:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks, such as getting confused over the correct change when shopping
  • Struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word
  • Being confused about time and place
  • Mood changes.

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