Saturday, February 23, 2013

Aging Population = Aging Minds and Bodies

According to a USA Today article, “The number of people in the USA with Alzheimer's disease will almost triple by 2050, straining the health care system and taxing the health of caregivers.” With the Baby Boomers now hitting later life stages, the messages about Alzheimer’s and degenerative have become ubiquitous. Proper nutrition and physical activity could play instrumental roles in prevention of this disease. A few approaches of particular interest in prevention of loss of brain (and, therefore, body) functioning include getting adequate physical activity to keep stimulation of motor and sensory nervous systems, consumption of a moderate amount (about 300 mg) of caffeine, making sure to get adequate servings of fruits and vegetables, adequate hydration, interactive brain games, and reading daily. Not only does the disease have nutrition ramifications from the prevention side of things, but the diseases can affect the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) for people including grocery shopping, food preparation, and eating – which is why gerontology is a big area for RDs.

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