On September 13-14, 2016, a planning committee for the Food Forum of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine1 convened a workshop in Washington, DC, to (1) examine trends and patterns in aging and factors related to healthy aging in the United States, with a focus on nutrition; (2) examine how nutrition can sustain and promote healthy aging, not just in late adulthood, but beginning in pregnancy and early childhood and extending throughout the lifespan; (3) highlight the role of nutrition in the aging process at various stages in life; (4) discuss changes in organ systems, including the skeletal, muscular, and cardiovascular systems, over the lifespan, and changes that occur with age related to cognitive, brain, and mental health and to diet-related sensory preferences, oral health, and the microbiome; and (5) explore opportunities to move forward in promoting healthy aging in the United States. See Box 1-1 for the full statement of task for the workshop.
It is important to note that this Proceedings of a Workshop summarizes information presented and discussed at the workshop and is not intended to serve as a comprehensive overview of the subject. Nor are the citations herein intended to serve as a comprehensive set of references for any topic;
1 The planning committee’s role was limited to planning the workshop. This Proceedings of a Workshop was prepared by the rapporteur as a factual account of what occurred at the workshop. Statements, recommendations, and opinions expressed are those of individual presenters and participants and have not been endorsed or verified by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. They should not be construed as reflecting any group consensus.
only references cited on speaker slides or in the workshop briefing notebook are included.
The organization of this Proceedings of a Workshop parallels the organization of the workshop (see Appendix A for the workshop agenda). Chapter 2, “Changing Landscape: Demographics, Health Status, and Nutritional Needs,” summarizes the Session 1 presentations and discussion. Speakers provided an overview of the demographics, health status, and nutritional needs of the older U.S. population. Chapter 3, “The Spectrum of Aging and Health Over the Lifespan,” summarizes the Session 2 presentations and discussion, with a focus on aging over the lifespan (e.g., how risk factors early in life predict health outcomes later in life). Chapter 4, “Changes in Organ Systems Over the Lifespan,” summarizes the Session 3 presentations and discussion. Speakers covered a range of organ systems, including the cardiovascular system, skeletal and muscular systems, sensory and oral health, and the gut and gut microbiome. Chapter 5, “Moving Forward,” summarizes the Session 4 presentations and discussion, in which the focus of the workshop shifted to the future and ways to promote healthy aging. Finally, Chapter 6, “Healthy Aging: What Is It? Are There Acceptable Markers to Utilize in Developing Strategies to Promote It?,” is a summary of the workshop’s closing moderated discussion.