Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you stay well this winter

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health and can help you to feel your best. This is particularly important as people struggle with the cost of living.

During the winter months it is particularly important to consider your diet, especially for those who are frail, elderly or who are juggling paying for rising bills and food prices. Malnutrition or ‘poor nutrition’ is a serious condition that happens when your diet does not contain the right amount of nutrients. Common signs of malnutrition include:

  • unintentional weight loss – losing 5% to 10% or more of weight over 3 to 6 months is one of the main signs of malnutrition
  • a low body weight – people with a body mass index (BMI) under 18.5 are at risk of being malnourished (use the BMI calculator to work out your BMI)
  • a lack of interest in eating and drinking
  • feeling tired all the time
  • feeling weak
  • getting ill often and taking a long time to recover
  • in children, not growing or not putting on weight at the expected rate

If left untreated, malnutrition can lead to serious complications such as increased risk of infection, frailty, falls, mental health issues, dehydration, delayed wound healing and increased hospital admissions.

To combat malnutrition, it is vital that we eat a healthy balanced diet. People who are underweight or at increased risk of frailty should consider whether they need to increase their calorie and protein intake in order to prevent unplanned weight loss.

Useful links and resources


Smiles Cafe

Serving the homeless and vulnerable in the community, Smiles offers a warm meal to anyone who needs one.


Health Start

Healthy Start Gloucestershire

If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you could get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy milk, infant formula milk, pulses, and vegetables.


BDA Food Facts

Eat Well, Spend Less

This Food Fact Sheet will give you some ideas to help you to eat well and keep costs down


Gloucestershire Food Banks

Food Banks in Gloucestershire

Find a food bank near you.


Feeding Gloucestershire

Feeding Gloucestershire

Working collectively to identify the issues causing food poverty.


Healthy Lifestyles Gloucestershire

Healthy Lifestyles Gloucestershire

Free support to make healthy lifestyle changes.



Gloucestershire app library

The Gloucestershire app library has lots of apps which you might find useful.