EU Science Hub

Feasibility study on dietary recommendations for older adults in the European Union

Oct 23 2014
Oct 24 2014

Background and rationale


Demographic ageing is a key societal and economic challenge in Europe. Supporting active and healthy ageing is important to enable individuals to continue contributing to society as they grow older, improve their quality of life and to reduce unsustainable pressure on health systems[1].

The Joint Research Centre (JRC), as the European Commission's in-house science service, has started activities in the areas of nutrition, ageing and public health. It aims to raise awareness of the importance of nutrition in ageing, to encourage more focus towards diet and nutrition in policymaking to protect our older citizens, and to support the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing1.

The recent Council conclusions on nutrition and physical activity recognise the important issue of malnutrition in the elderly, and that the nutritional requirements for the elderly need further attention[2]. Despite the mounting scientific evidence to support adequate nutrition and active and healthy ageing (AHA), targeted, age-specific and up-to-date dietary recommendations for older adults in Europe are hard to find[3].


This feasibility study aims to identify whether there is a need for dietary recommendations targeting older Europeans, or alternative strategies to promote better diet to prevent malnutrition in the elderly.


Objectives of the workshop

  • To provide a platform to exchange expert opinions and discuss the demand for dietary recommendations for older Europeans
  • To discuss the barriers of having dietary recommendations in Europe for older adults
  • To identify possible strategies to promote better diet to combat malnutrition in the elderly  
  • To discuss the readiness of acceptance and implementation of dietary recommendations in Europe, and if feasible, to propose roadmaps to move towards recommendations or alternative strategies to combat malnutrition in older Europeans


Workshop presentations


Aims of the workshop

The role of nutrients in the prevention and treatment of age-related diseases

Dietary patterns and healthy ageing

Development of DRVs and dietary guidelines in Europe

Health literacy in older people

Feasibility study introduction

Research and innovation in food, health and ageing

Dietary recommendations implementation: an example from Denmark