The world’s population, especially in less developed countries, is expected to continue expanding. This growth is occurring together with a demographic transition due to increases in lifespan, and decreases in mortality and fertility. As a result, the number of people aged above 60 years in less developed countries is expected to increase from the current 8% to 20% in 2050, with the group aged above 80 years growing almost five-fold.1 When using country median age as an indicator of age ing, the 2006 Revision of the UN World Population Prospects shows that the overall world population will age (Figure 1) and that this shift will occur mainly in developing countries. But, even though lifespan has increased, quality of life has not improved for this age group, 2 leading to unhealthy ageing and increased morbidity. As eloquently expressed in the 1995 State of World Health: “For most of the people in the world today, every step in life, from infancy to old age, is taken under the twin shadows of poverty and inequity, and under the double burden of suffering and disease. For many, the prospect of a longer life may seem more like a punishment than a prize.” A primordial objective is not only to increase lifespan but to achieve successful ageing, which is defined as minimizing the time between the onset of illness and death.
For all devoted to nutrition.
Discover the science behind nutrition and our latest initiatives for a promising tomorrow.