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Providing Healthy and Safe Foods as We Age: Workshop Summary
Jointly sponsored by the Interagency Risk Assessment Consortium (IRAC),1 the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), and the Food Forum, the workshop served as an opportunity for experts in various disciplines to discuss the size, demographics, and health status of community-dwelling populations more than 50 years of age; bring attention to the food safety and nutritional concerns that arise in these populations; and provide insight on how new food processing and reformulation technologies and consumer messaging can be used as preventive approaches to reducing the food and nutritional concerns for this growing segment of the U.S. population.
Food Forum Chair Michael Doyle opened the meeting with some brief introductory remarks about the general role of the IOM Food Forum and the objectives of the workshop. He also identified the planning committee responsible for organizing the workshop: Suzie J. Crockett of General Mills; Kerry Dearfield, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS); Steven Gendel, FDA/CFSAN; Gordon Jensen, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Pennsylvania State University; Marge Leahy, The Coca-Cola Company; and Pamela Starke-Reed, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Division of Nutrition Research Coordination (DNRC).
Doyle’s comments were followed by an introductory presentation by Stephen Sundlof, Director of FDA/CFSAN. The remainder of the workshop was organized into six sessions: (1) size and demographics of aging populations; (2) changes in physiology with age; (3) food safety concerns for aging populations; (4) nutrition concerns for aging populations; (5) communicating with aging populations; and (6) future challenges and solutions to providing healthy and safe foods to aging populations. The final session included a panel discussion amongst four panelists and the audience. Many of the major themes of the workshop were revisited during this final session.
The organization of this report parallels the organization of the workshop itself. The introductory chapter, Chapter 1, includes a summary of Dr. Stephen Sundlof’s presentation and a summary of the major overarching themes of the workshop presentations and discussions. Chapter 2 summarizes the presentations and the discussion that occurred during the session on size and demographics of aging populations (i.e., session 1), Chapter 3 summarizes the presentations and discussion of the session on changes in physiology with age (i.e., session 2), and so on. Summaries of the major themes of the workshop, including suggestions put forth by individual participants
Founded in 1997, IRAC comprises all federal agencies, institutes, and centers with risk analysis responsibilities for food safety. Information about IRAC members and activities is available online at http://www.foodrisk.org/IRAC/.