Nutritional Status of Adults in the United States

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Nutritional Status of Adults in the United States

As the number of older adults in the United States grows, the demands on the food system will change. The U.S. Bureau of the Census projects that by the year 2050, the population will grow by another 110 million people to 392 million (2010). The median age has increased from 34.0 in 1994 to 37.2 in 2010. It is projected to peak at 39.1 in 2035. The older population, 65 and older is projected to increase from 12.4 percent in 2000 to 20.7 percent in 2050. The age group that is growing the fastest is age 85 and older. Racial minority groups, African American, Indian/Alaskan Native, and Asian/Pacific Islanders are expected to increase to 27.9 percent, while Hispanics will increase to 24.4 percent and the proportion of Whites will decrease to 50.1 percent. With the growing number of older adults making up the population, it is believed that they will be more health conscious and may have a variety of health problems related to diet.

This is not the first time the U.S. has faced problems with the health of the nation. In 1946, President Harry S. Truman signed the National School Lunch Act. This legislation came in response to claims that many American men were rejected for military service due to diet related health issues. School lunch was established as “a measure of national security, to safeguard the health and well-being of the nation’s children and to encourage the domestic consumption of nutritious agricultural commodities and other food (Gunderson, 2013).”


The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that health conditions associated with the ageing process are arthritis, stroke, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. These health concerns can be avoided...

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Nicklas, T., Jahns, L., Bogle, M., Chester, D., Giovanni, M., Klurfeld, D., Laugero, K., Liu, Y.,

Lopez, S., and Tucker, K., (2013). Barriers and Facilitators for Consumer Adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans: The HEALTH Study. Journal of the Academy of

Nutrition and Dietetics, Vol. 113, No. 10, 1317-1330.

Reed, S., Crespo, C., Harvey, W., and Andersen, R., (2011). Social isolation and physical

inactivity in older US adults: Results from the Third National and Nutrition Examination Survey. European Journal of Sport Science, Vol. 11, No. 5, 347-353.

Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, (2010),

U.S. Bureau of the Census,

World Health Organization (WHO),
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