Food4Years: Food for-added-life-years: putting research into action
The development, integration and communication of healthy, affordable foods and diets for all older adults across our food landscape.

About this network

Ensuring a healthy diet in older adults is one important strategy for supporting health, wellbeing, independence, and quality of life in older adults. One in ten people over the age of 65 are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition in the UK. There are many barriers for older people to consume a nutrient dense diet. In recent years a large body of research has explored factors that can enhance the quality of the diet in older adults, however this knowledge has yet to translate into food products and policy changes. For example, there is a plethora of products on the market targeting infants, children and adolescents, and a consistent acknowledgement that their needs are different. Yet there remains a lack of products supporting healthy ageing, despite the food industry recognising the need to address the challenges of designing and marketing high-quality foods and meals for the older adult consumer.

Much more needs to be done to increase the intake of specific foods, diets and nutrients by older adults, that can help them to improve their quality of life as they age. This can be achieved through a variety of methods which may include improving the nutritional information available to older adults, their carers and health care professional, development and marketing of food products that meet older adult's specific needs, behaviour change strategies such as "nudging" and changes in policy that promote the development of healthier diets for older adults.

The overall aim of our Network is to build a community of consumers, businesses, charities, clinicians, and academic researchers that are thoroughly committed to the development, integration and communication of healthy, affordable foods and diets for older adults, to promote quality of life and improved health in the ageing UK population. We plan to achieve this through the use of satellite workshops, academic meetings, the distribution of feasibility funding, communication campaigns and policy guidance. If you would like to join the Food4Years Network and be updated on it's activities, please register your details below.