Adequate nutrition is fundamental to everyday life and central to good physical health and spiritual well-being in older adults. In this context, a more holistic definition of nutrition is adopted, referring not only to the science that deals with all the various factors of which food is composed and the way in which proper nourishment is brought about in the body, but on the interplay between personal lifestyle choices, environmental conditions, and policy/regulations that either inhibit or support proper nutrition.
Eating right and being fit are keys to staying healthy throughout life. Because their nutrient needs change as people age, it is important to know which foods offer the vitamins and minerals that will promote good health later in life.
Poor nutrition is associated with a variety of adverse health-related and social outcomes. Poor nutrition is also indicated in a number of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
The mission of the CDC-HAN Nutrition Workgroup is to review and evaluate current academic initiatives and research with the dual focus of nutrition and public health; federal and state-wide nutrition and public health and related policy efforts; and federal, state and local nutrition and public health service activities and to use this information for developing recommendations that foster change personal choice, community access, and the food system within which such choices are made to ensure healthy people in healthy and sustainable communities. This work will be guided by the socio-ecological model and the CDC-HAN definition of healthy aging. The group will also serve as a resource for the HAN Network, CDC, and the broader research, practice, and policy communities.
Applying a broader public health framework, the group will focus its work on:
- A thorough grounding in nutrition science, nutrition education and clinical nutrition
- A broad understanding of the psychological, social, political and economic context of foods and nutrition
- An ability to critically evaluate the scientific, policy and lay literature about food, food systems and nutrition-related issues
- The ability to integrate knowledge from the fields of nutrition science, physical activity / mobility, the behavioral sciences and community nutrition to develop recommendations and related products relevant to individuals, communities, and federal and state policy makers and funders
- The ability to integrate research, theory, policy and practice.