Even small changes in eating can make a big difference.


my knowledge

Life expectancy in Switzerland is increasing as we get older. As a result, they take non-communicable diseases and functional impairment. based on needs feed They can contribute to the fact that these diseases, signs of aging and their consequences, such as reduced independence or increased need for care, occur less frequently or later. For example, it has been shown that in the elderly Energy Demand Less compared to the younger ones need nutrients It remains the same or increases. For example, file need protein With age, the ability to build muscle decreases with age. In addition, the sense of smell and taste often change, which means that people over the age of 60 in general eat less.

All this often leads to malnutrition in this population group, such as a opinion poll on nutrition in people over 50 years of age. To counter this malnutrition, the SBU launched the “60 Plus Nutrition” project. The aim of this project is to promote a balanced and enjoyable diet among those over 60 years of age.

Characteristics Study

First, SGE looked at how to reach as many people over the age of 60 as possible. The reason for this is that many of these people face change – such as impending retirement or leaving children – and a new phase of life often begins at this age. SBU has worked with multiple multipliers, such as employees from Pro Senectute, Spitex, general practitioners, physicians, nutritionists, meal services and more with offerings for people over 60. For this purpose, various materials have been created for this complication. They were also trained by the SBU and exchanged information with each other. In addition, partnerships have been established in order to integrate nutritional aspects into existing projects. For example, partnerships were created for Pro Senectute exercise courses, which also included nutrition. as it was with Table Working together, they distributed a puzzle booklet to the participants.

main results

For as many elderly people as possible themselves or specialists and multipliers of the project «Nutrition 60» In addition, in order to motivate this population to eat a healthy and balanced diet, SGE has created a variety of materials in the three national languages ​​for free.

This is especially common Mystery Handbook. Here crossword puzzles, sudoku and other puzzles are combined with valuable and practical tips for eating and enjoying from the age of sixty. “The puzzle booklet also reaches people who mainly like to solve puzzles and are not necessarily interested in nutrition. You will also learn something about a balanced diet and practical advice. » says Angelica Haier, Vice President of SGE.

But Free Raw Texts or Powerpoint Presentations and podcasts are also popular, especially through multiples. All the text clearly show which of them Nutrients, vitamins and minerals for the elderly It is of particular importance and this population group should pay special attention to it. In addition, the pleasure and enjoyment of eating should not be neglected. Eating a meal together can increase the pleasure of eating, the importance of nutrition, and enhance the quality of life and social inclusion of people over the age of 60,” says Angelica Haier.

For example, the Federal Bureau of Food Safety and Veterinary Medicine (BLV) recently published a report detailing “Eat Healthy – Stay Fit – Nutrition from 65” brochure As well as prevention and health promotion in the canton of Zurich flyer With tips and practical menu suggestions for everyday use. You can also find nutrition-related offers on the website “Healthy and Active Aging” Prevention and health promotion in the canton of Zurich.

What they all have in common is that older adults in particular have an increased need for protein and should eat this nutrient with every meal if possible.

When it comes to vitamins and minerals, vitamin D should only be taken in addition to food, for example in the form of drops, because the formation of vitamin D through the skin decreases with age and we cannot produce enough through food. Older adults should also make sure they get enough calcium. However, this can be well covered with foods such as dairy products, certain types of vegetables, nuts, or mineral water. All other vitamins and minerals can usually be well covered by nutrition. Taking Nutritional supplements It only makes sense if there is a real need and it is best to discuss it with your family doctor.


In addition to the ongoing “60 Plus Nutrition” project, the Business Administration is planning a “60 Plus Nutrition Double” project. This puts the focus on weak subgroups, such as people with immigrant backgrounds or those with low incomes. The reason for this is that studies with a high level of evidence show that there is social inequality in eating habits. Proven measures from the current project will continue to be used to promote a balanced and enjoyable diet for over-60s. For example, existing partnerships are maintained in order to continue to ensure that the theme of nutrition is integrated into existing projects and offerings. In addition, new partnerships are being created – especially with multipliers, through which vulnerable groups can be reached.

For example, a brochure should be created in simple language. Media partnerships and other communication measures should also make offerings better known and disseminate nutritional messages to the general population over the age of 60 as well as to vulnerable elderly people.

still open

In both the existing and the new project, the BAM can educate the elderly on a balanced and enjoyable diet. However, it is not possible to know whether the elderly will actually change their eating habits in the long term and thus will be malnourished less or not malnourished at all. Definitely worth a try. Because even “small changes in behavior when eating can have a big effect,” Angelica Haier says. And one thing is for sure: a balanced, enjoyable diet and enough exercise – Both are the best in company – as well as relaxation contributes to well-being and quality of life at any age.

Anne Burchard He is the coordinator of the health blog “healthy?” At the University of Zurich (UZH). The blog pursues the following goals: “With this blog, we want to inform the German-speaking population about health issues in an understandable and reliable way and encourage exchange. We rely on structured reviews and focus on the areas of healthcare, prevention and health promotion, as well as health policy. This is how we put new accents. However, we don’t want to reinvent the wheel and also go back to current and tested performances. »


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