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Position Paper Aging Nutrition

Position Paper Aging Nutrition - from the association...

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from the association ADA REPORTS Position Paper of the American Dietetic Association: Nutrition Across the Spectrum of Aging ABSTRACT It is the position of the American Die- tetic Association that older Americans receive appropriate care; have broad- ened access to coordinated, comprehen- sive food and nutrition services; and receive the benefits of ongoing research to identify the most effective food and nutrition programs, interventions, and therapies across the spectrum of aging. Food and water and nutritional well- being are essential to the health, self- sufficiency, and quality of life for the fast growing, heterogeneous, multira- cial, and ethnic populations of older adults. Many people, as they age, re- main fully independent and actively engaged in their communities; how- ever, others fare less well and need more support. A broad array of appro- priate, culturally sensitive food and nu- trition services, physical activities, and health and supportive care customized to the population of older adults are necessary. National, state, and local policies that promote coordination and integration of food and nutrition ser- vices into health and supportive sys- tems are needed to maintain indepen- dence, functional ability, chronic disease management, and quality of life. Dietetics professionals can take the lead by researching and developing national, state, and local collaborative networks to incorporate effectively the food and nutrition services across the spectrum of aging. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005;105:616-633. POSITION STATEMENT It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that older Americans* receive appropriate care; have broadened access to coordinated, comprehensive food and nutrition ser- vices; and receive the benefits of ongo- ing research to identify the most effec- tive food and nutrition programs, interventions, and therapies across the spectrum of aging. T he enjoyment of food and nutri- tional well-being, along with other environmental factors, has an impact on health-related quality of life (see Figure 1 ), which is defined as a personal sense of physical and men- tal health and the ability to react to factors in the physical and social en- vironments. Although difficult to measure, self-reported health status can be a reliable indicator of one’s perceived health-related quality of life ( 1 ). Approximately 42% of Ameri- cans 65 to 74 years of age and 33% of persons 75 years of age and older rated their health as very good to ex- cellent in 2002 ( 2 ). Nutrition is one of the major deter- minants of successful aging, defined as the ability to maintain three key behaviors: low risk of disease and dis- ease-related disability, high mental and physical function, and active en- gagement of life ( 3 ). Food is not only critical to one’s physiological well-be- ing but also contributes to one’s so- cial, cultural, and psychological qual- ity of life. Research has shown that behaviors such as eating a healthful diet, being physically active, and not using tobacco are more influential than genetic factors in helping indi-
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