Providing Healthy and Safe Foods as We Age - Workshop Summary


Note: Proceedings contain the opinion of the presenters, but do NOT reflect the conclusions of the Health and Medicine Division or the National Academies. Learn more about the differences between Reports and Proceedings.

By 2030, the number of adults over 65 in the United States is expected to nearly double. This sudden growth is in part due to aging baby boomers but also is a result of many people living longer lives. But does a longer life mean a healthier life? Older adults may have weakened immune systems that put them at greater risk of serious problems from foodborne diseases. In addition, our nutritional needs change as we age, and older adults may not be aware of what foods they should eat to maintain their health.

The IOM’s Food Forum held a workshop October 29-30, 2009, to discuss food safety and nutrition concerns for older adults and the future challenges to providing healthy and safe foods to aging populations. Participants discussed the increasing numbers, changing demographics, and health of older adults in the United States. In addition, presentations explored how new food processing technologies and communication strategies can be used to improve food safety and nutrition awareness. This document summarizes the workshop.