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A holistic approach to healthy ageing: how can people live longer, healthier lives?

Calder, PC; Carding, SR; Christopher, G; Kuh, D; Langley-Evans, SC; McNulty, H; (2018) A holistic approach to healthy ageing: how can people live longer, healthier lives? Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics , 31 (4) pp. 439-450. 10.1111/jhn.12566. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Although lifespan is increasing, there is no evidence to suggest that older people are experiencing better health in their later years than previous generations. Nutrition, at all stages of life, plays an important role in determining health and wellbeing. METHODS: A roundtable meeting of UK experts on nutrition and ageing considered key aspects of the diet–ageing relationship and developed a consensus position on the main priorities for research and public health actions that are required to help people live healthier lives as they age. RESULTS: The group consensus highlighted the requirement for a life course approach, recognising the multifactorial nature of the impact of ageing. Environmental and lifestyle influences at any life stage are modified by genetic factors and early development. The response to the environment at each stage of life can determine the impact of lifestyle later on. There are no key factors that act in isolation to determine patterns of ageing and it is a combination of environmental and social factors that drives healthy or unhealthy ageing. Too little is known about how contemporary dietary patterns and sedentary lifestyles will impact upon healthy ageing in future generations and this is a priority for future research. CONCLUSIONS: There is good evidence to support change to lifestyle (i.e. diet, nutrition and physical) activity in relation to maintaining or improving body composition, cognitive health and emotional intelligence, immune function and vascular health. Lifestyle change at any stage of life may extend healthy lifespan, although the impact of early changes appears to be greatest.

Type: Article
Title: A holistic approach to healthy ageing: how can people live longer, healthier lives?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/jhn.12566
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/jhn.12566
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: ageing, cognition, genetics, microbiome, nutrition
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10063654
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