Position of the American Dietetic Association: nutrition, aging, and the continuum of care

J Am Diet Assoc. 2000 May;100(5):580-95. doi: 10.1016/S0002-8223(00)00177-2.


Scientific evidence increasingly supports that good nutrition is essential to the health, self-sufficiency, and quality of life of older adults. With the population of the United States living longer than ever before, the older adult population will be more diverse and heterogeneous in the 21st century. The oldest-old and minority populations will grow more quickly than the young-old and non-Hispanic white populations, respectively. For the current 34 million adults 65 years of age and older living in the United States, there are about 12 million caregivers who provide formal or informal care. A broad array of culturally appropriate food and nutrition services, physical activities, and health and supportive care customized to accommodate the variations within this expanding population of older adults is needed. With changes and lack of coordination in health care and social-support systems, dietetics professionals need to be proactive and collaborate with aging-services and other health care professionals to improve policies, interventions, and programs that service older adults throughout the continuum of care to ensure nutritional well-being and quality of life. The American Dietetic Association supports both the provision of comprehensive food and nutrition services and the continuation and expansion of research to identify the most effective food and nutrition interventions for older adults over the continuum of care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Diet / standards
  • Dietary Services
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Dietetics* / trends
  • Exercise
  • Frail Elderly
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Life Style
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors
  • Societies*
  • United States