Healthy ageing: making lifetime vitality happen
One of the major challenges of ageing is the increasing risk of chronic diseases. A customized diet as part of a healthy lifestyle can help to reduce the risk and attenuate age-related ailments. The role of nutrition and various ingredients in the management of heart health, brain health, eye health are discussed along with potential strategies to reduce the risk of cancer and age-related immobility. The importance of consumer targeting and customized messaging for nutrition messages is pointed out.
The globally increasing number of elderly people has been one of the dominating topics in the media during the last couple of years. Compared to the 1950s, when 205 million persons aged 60 or over were living throughout the world the number had tripled to 606 million fifty years later. Europe is currently the world’s major area with the highest proportion of elderly persons and is projected to remain so for at least the next 50 years (1).
Facing these changes in demographics, there is an increasing need for strategies to counteract ailments that are typically linked to old age, both from an individual and a health economics point of view: Each individual would like to keep the status of being strong and in good health for a lifetime – making lifetime vitality happen. Health insurances and official bodies – mainly fearing the cost of taking care of the increased prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases as well as caring for those who are no longer able to live independently - are promoting prevention strategies. These comprise a healthy lifestyle with eating right and being physically active as important measures to stay healthy throughout life (2).