Older Americans have a strong appetite for health but face barriers, says nutrition survey

636645607389970241ScreenHunter 358.png

14 Jun 2018 --- Amid rising levels of the over fifties managing more than one chronic disease, US citizens are tuning into their health and nutrition more than ever, an International Food Information Council (IFIC) study has found. Heart health and muscle health proved to be the two most concerning topics for this age group, at 80 and 75 percent respectively, while brain health and having enough energy were equally essential health topics at 74 percent. The seniors are clearly demonstrating strong health goals but also a lack of understanding of how to achieve them.

The survey asked more than 1,000 adults over 50 years of age how they make decisions on their eating habits, if they understand their dietary needs and what is motivating them to make positive changes. While people, in general, tend to think of food in relation to weight management or weight loss, the survey reveals that adult eating habits and health priorities may change with age.

Results showed that the vast majority of older adults are making at least some effort to eat the right amount of certain nutrients and food groups and that roughly 6 in 10 adults said they had better diet and lifestyle behaviors compared to their habits 20 years ago.

In fact, the data found that:

Click to Enlarge
Cardiovascular health was the most
important concern to participants.
  • Nearly as many as 86 percent are making an effort to replace less-healthy foods and beverages with more nutrient-dense options.
  • 87 percent are trying to eat the right amount and variety of protein.
  • The same number reported trying to eat the right amount and variety of vegetables.

“The IFIC Foundation survey shows that people are trying to get the right foods into their diet, but a recent study we did with The Ohio State University showed that more than one in three adults over 50 years old aren't getting the recommended amount of protein each day,” says Abby Sauer, a Registered Dietitian at Abbott. “Good nutrition, with muscle-building nutrients like protein, is essential to help maintain your muscle health and live a healthy, active life at any age.”

Barriers and facilitators to healthy eating in the over fifties
“When we remove the barriers of cost and time, that doesn't mean they will become facilitators of healthy eating,” says Lewin-Zwerdling. “The research shows that the facilitators of a healthier society require larger systemic changes – starting with more education and better access to the right nutrition across the country.”

WhiClick to Enlargele many adults are making healthy food choices, the data revealed a lack of understanding about what foods can help achieve desired health outcomes. Nearly one-third (32 percent) couldn’t name a specific food or nutrient that they would avoid to help achieve their prioritized health outcome.

Similarly, over one-quarter of respondents (26 percent) could not name a food or nutrient they would seek out to help with their most important health outcome. Vegetables topped the list of specific foods or components to seek out for all health topics (28 percent), with protein (18 percent) and fruit (17 percent), coming in second and third. Whole grains (5 percent), and dairy (3 percent) were less likely to be named as foods that adults seek out.

The survey also examined which factors made it easier to eat a healthy diet and what stood in the way. Knowledge (41 percent), accessibility (37 percent) and physical ability (32 percent) were the top three facilitators that make it easier to have a healthy diet. Conversely, cost (44 percent) and time (23 percent) were thClick to Enlargee top barriers cited by adults over 50 that made it harder to eat healthier.

The findings are derived from an online survey of 1,005 Americans ages 50 and older. The results were weighted (by age, education, gender, race/ethnicity and region) to ensure that they are reflective of the American population 50+, as seen in the Census Bureau’s 2017 Current Population Survey. The survey, which was supported by Abbott, was conducted by Greenwald & Associates using ResearchNow’s consumer panel.

The findings follow the release of the 13th Annual Food and Health Survey, also conducted by IFIC. The key takeaways from this nation-wide survey were that Americans were dieting at extremely high levels, desired health benefits such as heart health, but also exhibited high levels of confusion around how to achieve such benefits.

You can read about the report in full here.

The results from both surveys arguably call for a more united-front for public education on nutrition, food and health.

NutritionInsight has a special report on the topic of nutrition for the senior groups, The right nutrition for the golden years: Space for personalization.

By Laxmi Haigh

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Health & Nutrition News

Muscling into the coffeehouse scene: Herbalife Nutrition launches high protein iced coffee mix

17 Oct 2018 --- Herbalife Nutrition has launched a mocha high protein iced coffee mix. Touted as being “low in calories, sugar and fat, but big on taste,” the 100-calorie drink mix has no artificial flavors or added colors and provides 15 grams of protein and 80 mg of caffeine per serving.

Health & Nutrition News

US study uncovers "continued" use of harmful ingredients in OTC dietary supplements

15 Oct 2018 --- Potentially harmful active pharmaceuticals continue to be identified in US over-the-counter (OTC) dietary supplements commonly marketed for sexual enhancement, weight loss or muscle building, according to a study published in JAMA. The researchers analyzed US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warnings from 2007 through 2016 to show that unapproved pharmaceutical ingredients were identified in 776 dietary supplements. In response, US health bodies and trade associations are calling for consumer caution and reform to ensure supplements are free from pharmaceutical contamination.

Health & Nutrition News

More young people in England are choosing not to drink alcohol

15 Oct 2018 --- Young people in England are not just drinking less alcohol, an increasing number is never taking up alcohol at all, according to a study published in BMC Public Health. The uptake in non-drinkers could bode well for new product development in the area of low or non-alcoholic offerings, such as kombucha.

Health & Nutrition News

Good news for nuts: Asian consumers are increasingly snacking to manage their mood, research finds 

09 Oct 2018 --- Consumers within Asia are increasingly snacking as a way to manage their mood, according to a research report on the most prominent snacking trends within Asia, released by the Australian Macadamia industry. Conducted by independent research agency Galileo Kaleidoscope across multiple markets, the research report shows that consumers are snacking to destress or unwind, to enhance a social engagement, or as a pick-me-up for energy.

Health & Nutrition News

Food fortification may not be a silver bullet, but it is a strong instrument against malnutrition

05 Oct 2018 --- Malnutrition is an umbrella term which includes undernutrition, such as stunting and micronutrient deficiency, as well as obesity, overnutrition and non-communicable diseases. Accessible and cheap interventions, such as the fortification of staple foods with essential nutrients, seek to address micronutrient deficiencies, which is just one type of malnutrition. NutritionInsight speaks to key players in the field to gauge the impact food fortification can have on malnutrition, on both a large and small scale.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/older-americans-have-a-strong-appetite-for-health-but-face-barriers-says-nutrition-survey.html