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Chapter 18

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NUTR 2050
Simone Holligan

Chapter 18 Nutrition and Older Adults Key Nutrition Concepts 1 Enjoying a varied diet contributes to mental and physical wellbeing 2 The population of older adults is heterogeneous generalizations about nutrition and health status are unlikely to fit many individuals 3 Diseases and disabilities are not inevitable consequences of aging 4 Functional status is more indicative of health in older adults than is chronological age 5 Bodycomposition changes that occur with aging can alter lifestyle these changes may modify nutritional needsIntroduction A positive outlook toward ones own old age is associated with increased longevity The leading causes of death for people aged 60 and older are heart disease cancer and stroke these three and diabetes mellitus have nutritional risk factors Older adults feel that good nutrition and exercise are the most important health habits they can maintain in order to avoid losing autonomy and independence Older adults can meet their decreasing energy requirements by choosing more nutrientdense foods eating adequate amounts of vegetables fruits and whole grains keeping fats in balance and drinking alcohol only in moderation will reduce risks of contracting diseasesGood health habits help to delay morality and achieve compression of morbidity in older populations Compression of morbidity shortening the period of illness and decreased functional capabilities at the end of life What Counts as Old Depends On Who is Countingo Chronological age is a simple place to begin to understand someones nutritional health However functional status a description of how well one can accomplish the desired tasks of daily living is more indicative of health than chronological age Food Matters Nutrition Contributes to a Long and Healthy Lifeo The cumulative effects of lifelong dietary habits determine nutritional status in old ageo Good nutrition throughout life contributes to optimal growth to appropriate weight and to nutrient levels in blood and other tissues that boost immunity and provide disease resistanceo The CDC suggests that longevity depends 19 on genetics 10 on access to highquality health care 20 on environmental factors and 51 on lifestyle factors o The role of food and nutrition often changes during aging o Besides reducing risk of disease and delaying death diet contributes to wellness meaning having the energy and ability to do the things one wants to do and to feel in control of ones lifeA Picture of the Aging Population Vital Statistics Global Population Trends Life Expectancy and Life Spano Life expectancy at birth in the US is 78 years compared to 47 years in 1900
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