An apple a day?

02 Feb 2016

Society is becoming older. It is a great achievement, but one that comes at a cost. We do know that older people have a different health profile compared to the young. Incidence of morbidities, co-morbidities, dementia and disabilities increase with age. Amongst the very old, degenerative conditions, notably Alzheimer’s disease, become more prevalent.

Finding ways to manage the increased disease burden will be increasingly important. Nutrition provides one potential solution. We all know “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. This link between good health and nutrition is well founded and was the topic of discussion at the “Nutrition and healthy ageing” conference - organised by the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue together with DSM Nutritional Products - where experts, speakers and attendees gathered to discuss the latest research and strategies.

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If nutrition can effectively be used to improve health conditions amongst the elderly, the pay-off for individuals and society could be considerable. We may not know precisely how the apple improves health; and we do not know if the apple has different effects on different people. Moreover, we do not know if an apple has the same health benefits in a younger cohort as it does among those over 65.

It raises the question – if we better understand the pathways between nutrition and health, can we improve illness prevention strategies among the elderly? Could we produce personalised nutrition and lifestyle plans to benefit health in old age? The "Nutrition and healthy ageing" event aimed to answer some of these topical issues.

Click here to find out more about the "Nutrition and healthy ageing" conference.