Age-related skeletal muscle loss, sarcopenia, cachexia and wider malnutrition (under nutrition) are complex in aetiology with interaction of clinical, social and economic factors. Weight loss and loss of skeletal muscle mass in older people are associated with increased morbidity and mortality with implications for increasing health and social care costs. There is insufficient evidence to identify the ideal treatment options. However, preventing weight loss and loss of skeletal muscle in older age will be keys to reducing morbidity and mortality. This will require all those coming into contact with older people to identify and address weight loss early, including through diet, improving physical activity and increasing social interaction. Public health messages on diet should, in the main, continue to focus on older people achieving current UK dietary recommendations for their age as visually depicted in the eatwell plate together with associated messages regarding dietary supplements where appropriate.