Nutrition

The way we eat throughout our lives impacts the way we age. Science has proven that a well-balanced and varied diet full of nutritious foods like fruits and veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and lean proteins; and limited in sugar, salt, saturated or solid fats, and alcoholic beverages; is critical to good health. This means we all have the power to maximize and improve our health, add vitality to our years, reduce the risk of disease, and increase our healthspans—the number of years we live in good health. And research shows that it’s never too late to make improvements.

This short educational film shares the nutritional needs that change with age, the role of nutrition in keeping us healthy, nutrition-related diseases, recommendations from the recent US Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines, and the impact of food insecurity on healthy nutrition.

Brought to you with support from Abbott.

Learn More

Defeat Malnutrition Today is a coalition of more than 100 organizations and stakeholders working to defeat older adult malnutrition. The coalition works to achieve recognition of malnutrition as a key indicator and vital sign of older adult health risk. Learn more here.

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture released the 2020 – 2025 edition of its Dietary Guidelines for Americans – the first edition to provide recommendations by life stage, from birth through older adulthood. The guidelines are grounded in robust scientific reviews of the current body of evidence on key nutrition and health topics for each life stage. Learn more here.

 

The Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University is one of six human nutrition research centers supported by the USDA. The HNRCA is one of the largest research centers in the world studying nutrition and its relationship to healthy aging and physical activity. Learn more here.

 

 

The Aging in Motion Coalition of patient, caregiver, health, and aging groups working together to advance the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of sarcopenia. Learn more here.

 

Film Sources

An estimated 42% of U.S. adults ages 60+ are obese.
National Center for Health Statistics. February 2020. Prevalence of Obesity and Severe Obesity Among Adults: United States, 2017 – 2018. NCHS Data Brief, No. 360.

~60% of U.S. adults have 1 or more diet-related chronic diseases.
U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. December 2020. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020 – 2025. 9th Edition.

1 in 2 older adults are at risk for malnutrition.
Kaiser, M, J Bauer, C Ramsch Dipl.-Biomath, W Uter, et al. 2010. Frequency of Malnutrition in Older Adults: A Multinational Perspective Using the Mini Nutritional Assessment. J Am Ger Soc 58(9):1734-8.

10 to 20% of older adults have sarcopenia.
Aging in Motion Coalition. 2021. Sarcopenia: Taking Charge of Your Muscle Health as You Age.

1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men ages 50+ will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
National Osteoporosis Foundation. 2015. Osteoporosis Fast Facts.

Only 63% of adults ages 60+ follow the dietary guidelines.
U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. December 2020. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020 – 2025. 9th Edition.

Up to 46% of adults ages 70+ do not get the recommended amount of protein.
Krok-Schoen, J, A Archdeacon Price, M Luo, O Kelly, & C Taylor. 2019. Low Dietary Protein Intakes and Associated Dietary Patterns and Functional Limitations in the Aging Population: A NHANES Analysis. J Nutr, Health & Aging 23:338-47.

Adults ages 60+ typically drink only 3.1 – 3.5 cups of fluid/day.
Picetti, D, S Foster, A Pangle, A Schrader, M George, et al. 2017. Hydration Health Literacy in the Elderly. Nutr Healthy Aging 4(3)227-337.

Around 7% of older adults each year experience food insecurity and struggle to put healthy food on their plates.
Zilliak, J, and C Gunderson. 2020. The State of Senior Hunger in America in 2018. Feeding America Report.