New food guide for older adults includes vitamins D, B-12, calcium

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December 27, 2007  
Filed under Dietary

Reuters – A nearly decade-old food guide pyramid for older adults has gotten a makeover to make it more user-friendly and to emphasize the special dietary needs of people older than 70.

modifiedmypyramid.jpgPublished in the January issue of the Journal of Nutrition, the Modified MyPyramid for Older Adults stresses that older people should be careful to get enough fiber, calcium and vitamins D and B-12. It also emphasizes the importance of regular exercise and adequate fluid intake.

Researchers at Tufts University in Boston originally developed the food pyramid for older adults in 1999. They revamped it in response to changes made to the federal government’s general Food Guide Pyramid — which, along with a new look for the pyramid itself, includes an online component where people can calculate their personal dietary needs based on factors like age, weight and exercise levels.

Since older Americans are typically not as Web-savvy as younger generations, the Tufts researchers created a new version of their food pyramid that contains more graphics and underscores the importance of certain nutrients for older adults.

For example, a flag at the top of the pyramid reminds older people that they may need to take supplements of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B-12 in addition to what they get from food.

“Adults over the age of 70 have unique dietary needs,” Dr. Alice H. Lichtenstein, the lead author of the report, said in a statement.


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