Welcome to Food4Years Ageing Network

We are one of 11 networks funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), aiming to transform ageing research in the UK. We plan to achieve this through the development of a Community that is absolutely committed to the development, integration and communication of healthy, affordable food and specific diets for all older adults across our food landscape.

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 and there are many barriers for older people to consume a nutrient dense diet. Improvements in diet may 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, affordable food environments for all older adults.

Food4Years aims to:

  • Build, sustain and develop a community of consumers, researchers and businesses committed to the research and development of foods and food environments that support healthy ageing.
  • Coordinate the actions / events of Food4Years with relevant national bodies to disseminate key outputs.
  • Increase the range of businesses, charities, clinicians and academic disciplines engaged in the development of foods and food environments that focus on nutrition for lifelong health.
  • Identify research opportunities for the consumption of diets and foods specifically for older adults, at an individual (consumer), local (carehome, lunch clubs) and industry levels.
  • Pump-prime new collaborations between businesses, charities and academics and help them co-develop (i) interventions to communicate the nutritional requirements of older adults, and (ii) food products and marketing strategies for older adults that are acceptable to their needs.
  • Encourage early-careers researchers into the sector and provide funds to help engage new investigators to work with charities and industry partners.
  • Stimulate public enthusiasm for lifelong nutrition by highlighting the benefits through popular media in a timely fashion in response to current news and events.
  • Promote and facilitate the interaction between researchers, industry and charities resulting in major funding awards from UK and international sources for relevant research that can significantly advance the developments in the field.
  • Inform and influence through the development of a white paper outlining the policy requirements needed to stimulate action and integrate research into changes within our food system that can have wide reaching impact to promote quality of life and added life years 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 keep up to date with the latest progress from Food4Years, please sign up to join the Network here.