The Role of Food in Supporting Healthy Aging

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  • Title: The Role of Food in Supporting Healthy Aging: A Stakeholder Perspective
  • Author(s): Orla Collins, Joe Bogue
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Aging & Society
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Aging and Society
  • Keywords: Health, Wellbeing, Tacit Knowledge, Stakeholder, Aging Population, Healthy Aging, New Product Development
  • Volume: 4
  • Issue: 3-4
  • Year: 2015
  • ISSN: 2160-1909 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2160-1917 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2160-1909/CGP/v04i3-4/35135
  • Citation: Collins, Orla, and Joe Bogue. 2015. "The Role of Food in Supporting Healthy Aging: A Stakeholder Perspective." The International Journal of Aging and Society 4 (3-4): 12-13. doi:10.18848/2160-1909/CGP/v04i3-4/35135.

Abstract

One of the central factors influencing food development processes and food marketing strategies in the worldwide market place at present can be attributed to the changing age structure of the population. Aging consumers are becoming increasingly interested in achieving a sense of health and wellbeing through the consumption of natural wholefoods and nutritionally tailored functional foods. A rapidly growing population of aging people globally represents a large, neglected and very much under-developed category within the food industry. The objective of this research was to gather stakeholder tacit knowledge to understand the future role of food for the promotion of health and wellbeing in aging populations. A total of 16 in-depth stakeholder interviews were carried out with key experts and analysed using thematic analysis to identify the impact of food on healthy aging. Results from this study indicated that food plays a vital role in delivering enhanced nutrition for the promotion of health and wellbeing in the aging population. Experts highlighted the importance of maintaining an active and balanced diet to achieve a sense of physical wellbeing. They also noted how nutrient dense foods have the ability to prolong good quality life years. Food can facilitate both a preventative and proactive approach to healthy aging. Overall, food is deemed to be the most important prophylactic medicine for the aging population.