Food and Nutrition for Older Adults

Introduction (2012)

Guideline Overview

Guideline Title

Food and Nutrition for Older Adults Promoting Health and Wellness (2012) Evidence-Based Nutrition Practice Guideline

Guideline Narrative Overview

The recommendations in this set focus on topics related to food and nutrition for older adults in promoting health and wellness.

These topics include:

  • Weight management in the older adult
  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Older Americans Act (OAA) programs for older adults
  • Antioxidant consumption and age-related macular degeneration and cognitive function in older adults.

The topics chosen for evidence analysis and recommendation development provide essential information for registered dietitians (RDs) working with older adults, however it is acknowledged that the scope of the project was limited and many other issues are of importance to this population.

These recommendations and supporting analysis have been incorporated into the revision of an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics position paper titled, Food and Nutrition for Older Adults Promoting Health and Wellness, which covers a broad spectrum of information on older adults.

Topic selection was guided by the intent to revise the above-noted position paper. Additional topics may be included in future revisions.

Guideline Development

This guideline is intended for use by registered dietitians (RDs) involved in providing Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) to older adults. The application of the guideline must be individualized to assist the RD to successfully integrate MNT into the overall medical management of older adults. The recommendations in the guideline were based on a systematic review of the literature.
The recommendations are based on the work performed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Expert Working Group on Food and Nutrition in Older Adults Promoting Health and Wellness. The number of supporting documents for these topics is below:
  • Recommendations: Three
  • Conclusion Statements: 12
  • Evidence Summaries: 12
  • Article Worksheets: 184.


All Academy guidelines are revised every five years. The literature search will begin for each guideline topic three years after publication to identify new research that has been published since the previous search was completed. An expert workgroup will convene to determine the need for new and revised recommendations. See Revision under Guideline Development for more information. The updated guideline will be developed using the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Evidence Analysis Process (see Policy and Process tab).

New research may warrant a revision to a specific question or recommendation prior to the full project or guideline revision. Once identified, information is gathered and the Evidence-Based Practice Committee will make a decision on the appropriate action.

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