What is the role of nutritional epidemiology in dealing with multimorbidity and diet among elderly people?

This discussion will explore the field of nutrition epidemiology, and the complex relationship that exists between diet and disease, especially in the older population. In my role as a dietician/nutritionist, I'll provide insight into this topic, including key points, examples from real life, and additional tips.

Nutritional epidemiology and the elderly population

The study of nutrition epidemiology is crucial to our understanding how diet affects health, particularly among older people who are often battling multiple illnesses at once. As we age, our metabolism slows and our dietary requirements change. A poor diet can worsen existing conditions or even cause new ones. Appropriate dietary management can improve your health.

According to research , diet-related chronic disease is the number one cause of death and disability worldwide. According to a study in The Lancet, published in 2019, one fifth of deaths worldwide are linked to poor nutrition. The challenge is even more difficult for the elderly due to multi-morbidity. This occurs when an individual has two or three chronic illnesses.

Nutritional Epidemiology: Key considerations

In dealing with nutrition epidemiology, it is important to consider several aspects. The complex interactions between nutrients and the impact they have on our health is a key factor. A genetic factor can also influence an individual’s reaction to a different diet. Many studies have been published, such as the research in Nature Genetics, which highlights how genetics can influence dietary response.

It's also important to realize that there is no universal diet. It's important to understand that what works for someone else may not be the best for you, particularly in older populations with unique nutritional and health needs.

Example Nutritional Strategies for Older Populations

Other Tips

Nutritional epidemiology can provide valuable insight into the prevention of disease and its management. However, diet is only one part of health. Exercise, sleep and stress management all play a role. Regular medical checks can also help identify any health problems early, which allows for more effective interventions.


The role of nutritional epidemiology is crucial in understanding the relationship between multimorbidity and diet in older populations. In order to achieve better health, it is important to consider the uniqueness of each individual, their genetics, and their disease profile. For optimal health, older adults should also follow a balance of activities, including regular exercise, rest and stress management.