Nutrition across the Lifespan for Healthy Aging: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief


Note: Proceedings contain the opinion of the presenters, but do NOT reflect the conclusions of the Health and Medicine Division or the National Academies. Learn more about the differences between Reports and Proceedings.

More than 46 million people over the age of 65 years were living in the United States in 2014 and more than 70 million are predicted by 2060. Education, living arrangements, and other demographic characteristics of this older population are changing, with noted variability by sex and race/ethnicity. Health status indicators, including life expectancy and heart disease death rates, have shown improvement, as have economic indicators. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Food Forum convened a workshop with five objectives: to examine trends and patterns in aging and factors related to healthy aging in the United States with a focus on nutrition; to examine how nutrition can sustain and promote healthy aging, not only in late adulthood, but beginning in pregnancy and early childhood and extending throughout the lifespan; to highlight the role of nutrition in the aging process at various stages in life; to discuss changes in organ systems over the lifespan, including the skeletal, muscular, and cardiovascular systems, and changes that occur with age related to cognitive, brain, and mental health; diet-related sensory preferences; oral health; and the microbiome; and to explore opportunities to move forward in promoting healthy aging in the United States. This Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief summarizes key points of the workshop presentations and discussions. A comprehensive summary of the workshop will be publicly available in a forthcoming full-length Proceedings of a Workshop.