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October 1st is the International Day of Older Persons – What Do We Need to Know?

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By the year 2050, the world’s population of people over 60 years old will double. There would be an influx in the number of senior citizens that needs to be cared for, but not only that, they should be celebrated.  

October 1st is the United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Older Persons. It is a chance to recognize the significant growth of this population segment, the contribution that older persons make to society, and to bring awareness to age-related issues. 

The world’s population of people over 60 years old will see a significant increase bthe year 2050 

According to the United Nations, the 60+ segment is growing faster than any other age segment, and is expected to: 

  • an increase from 962 billion in 2017 to 1.4 billion by 2030 
  • double by 2050 to 2.1 billion 
  • triple by 2100 to 3.1 billion 

 

Longer Life Expectancy, but Sicker Years? 

Forecasts suggest that as life expectancy continues to increase around the world, so too will the number of sick years and at a faster rate, placing an even greater burden on healthcare systems. 

A 2015 World Health Organization assessment warned that health systems are falling short in meeting the needs of older persons, and that “current health systems are not aligned to the care that older populations require, even in higher-income countries.” 

 

An important time to address age-related nutrition needs 

There has never been a more important time to address age-related nutritional health needs. We apply our extensive food science knowledge, research and innovation to help the world age better – with more health and quality of life. We’re committed to high-quality nutritional solutions, recommended by doctors and pharmacists around the world. 

Eating right and staying fit are important no matter what your age. As we get older our bodies have different needs, so certain nutrients become especially important for good health. 

Calcium and Vitamin D 

Older adults need more calcium and vitamin D to help maintain bone health. Have three servings of calcium-rich foods and beverages each day. This includes fortified cereals and fruit juices, dark green leafy vegetables, canned fish with soft bones, milk and fortified plant beverages. If you take a calcium supplement or multivitamin, choose one that contains vitamin D. 

Vitamin B12 

Many people older than 50 do not get enough vitamin B12. Fortified cereal, lean meat and some fish and seafood are sources of vitamin B12. Ask your doctor or a registered dietitian nutritionist if you need a vitamin B12 supplement. 

Fiber 

Eat more fiber-rich foods to stay regular. Fiber also can help lower your risk for heart disease and prevent Type 2 diabetes. Eat whole-grain breads and cereals, and more beans and peas — along with fruits and vegetables which also provide fiber. 

Potassium 

Increasing potassium along with reducing sodium (salt) may lower your risk of high blood pressure. Fruits, vegetables and beans are good sources of potassium. Also, select and prepare foods with little or no added salt. Add flavor to food with herbs and spices. 

Fats 

Foods that are low in saturated fats and trans-fat help reduce your risk of heart disease. Most of the fats you eat should be polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which are primary found in nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil and fish. 

Today and every day, we celebrate older persons – for their dreams, deeds, and determination that created the world we enjoy today. Happy International Older Persons Day! 

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