Many older adults are not consuming a diet that reflects the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Only 24 percent of older Iowans age 65 to74 reported eating the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables daily according to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS, 2007). Approximately one-third of this same age group is obese. The demographic group with the highest prevalence of people over their healthy weight is people age 55 to 64 years; 74 percent of this group is either overweight or obese.
Poor nutritional status hastens many diseases associated with aging. As older adults chronically consume an inadequate diet, they are more likely to have an unhealthy weight, experience decline in both mental and physical health, and have a higher risk of dying. Click here for a 2008 profile of older Americans.