Apr 21, 2015 - 10:55 AM
In terms of there being a study of microwave dinners specifically causing dementia, no. However, there is a broader issue to consider. Microwave dinners, whether low-fat or otherwise, are not well balanced or particularly healthy. This is especially true if they are consumed as a primary food source with little or no supplemental nutrition.
I'm not a dietician. However, I can't begin to explain the number of people who I have guided to senior living who have benefit from the two main services provided: meals and medication management. Keep in mind that meals aren't just about "fuel", though without proper, balanced nutrition our bodies don't have the right "fuel" to thrive. Meals are also about social time. Let's face it- we all eat better when we are happy and surrounded by good company. In nearly every instance, new residents to senior living experience a noticeable rebound because they treat meals as a social time and therefore eat more, more frequently and with quality ingredients that are more balanced.
Your question implies that someone is at home and their regular sustenance involves eating a micorwave dinner alone. This is exactly the situation that can cause the problem of eating too little, being bored with food, forgetting to eat and not caring about the nutritional value of food, all of which then speak to various health concerns.
Hope this answers your question, and I hope that it inspires some dialogue about how many seniors don't really "cook" for themselves in a way that benefits their health and wellness. It is one of the fastest and easiest things to remedy in the lives of our parents.
Oh, and PS - just because someone lives alone doesn't necessarily mean they aren't eating well. There is a small percentage who still genuinely enjoy cooking and will make full meals that they then enjoy eating. Before making any recommendations to a parent (or senior), be sure to have a full understanding of their unique situation and seek the advice of a professional in the area if you are unsure whether their situation may be leading to their unique health concerns.
An interesting article from the Huffington Post about eating alone: