Updated Position of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Promoting Health and Wellness for Older Adults through Food and Nutrition
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Nutrition is one of the most important elements of healthful aging. It is critical to a person’s physiological well-being and contributes to social, cultural and psychological quality of life.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) has analyzed the influence food and nutrition has on health and quality of life as we age. The Academy says in an updated position paper that it is never too late to start making healthful food choices, especially with the guidance of a registered dietitian.
In a newly updated position paper on food and nutrition for older adults, the Academy says:
It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that all Americans age 60 and older receive appropriate nutrition care; have access to coordinated, comprehensive food and nutrition services; and receive the beneﬁts of ongoing research to identify the most effective food and nutrition programs, interventions and therapies.
According to the Academy’s position paper, it is important for older adults to adopt dietary and lifestyle practices that prevent and manage chronic conditions, maximizing their chances for aging healthfully.
Regular exercise and physical activity provide numerous and far-reaching health benefits, minimizing the effects of aging, preventing and decreasing the risk of chronic and degenerative diseases and providing treatment for conditions associated with aging.
Registered dietitians and dietetic technicians, registered have a unique opportunity to be leaders in championing the health and well-being of older adults, according to the position paper.
The position paper has been published in the August Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and can be found on the Academy's website. It was written by registered dietitians Melissa Bernstein, PhD, RD, LD, assistant professor at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science; and Nancy Munoz, DCN, MHA, RD, LDN, clinical nutrition manager at Genesis Healthcare, Sicklerville, N.J.
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The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.