Merck Manual

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Spotlight on Aging: Nutrition

Spotlight on Aging: Nutrition

A diet is whatever a person eats, regardless of the goal. The best diet for older people has not been determined. However, people may benefit from changing some aspects of their diet as they age, based on the way the body changes as it ages. No changes are required for some nutrients such as carbohydrates and fats.

Older people are more likely to have disorders or take drugs that can change the body’s nutritional needs or the body’s ability to meet those needs. Disorders and drugs can decrease appetite or interfere with the absorption of nutrients. When older people see their doctor, they should ask their doctor whether the disorders they have or the drugs they take affect nutrition in any way.