On 20th January, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) published a position statement on nutrition and older adults living in the community.
SACN's independent report provides an overview of the current evidence on nutrition in older adults and its impact on healthy ageing. In particular, it considers evidence relating to adults aged 65 and over living in the community.
The statement is an important and appropriate update, as nutrition and older adults was last considered in a COMA report in 1992. Since 1992, the proportion and number of older adults in the population has grown, as it details currently 1 in 5 people are aged 65 and over. The report covers a range of topics, including nutrition, health and changes with ageing, dietary recommendations for older adults, and the results of studies on a range of health factors from musculoskeletal health to cardiovascular health to immune function.
Dr Trevor Smith, BAPEN President said: “The recent SACN report is a welcome update on the 1992 report which it supersedes. Older adults face their own unique nutritional challenges, and it is important to be appraised of the evidence behind this. As the proportion of older adults continues to grow, we need comprehensive evidence and guidance so that we can provide the best nutritional care for older adults – a particular area of focus for BAPEN’s work with the Malnutrition Task Force.”
The full SACN statement can be read here.