What we eat and whether it makes us healthy or unhealthy is an age-old preoccupation. Scientists study the diets of the Japanese and Mediterranean peoples with interest. If they live to be healthy centenarians, can’t we too?
But whilst the global population is getting older faster, many people in the developed world don’t eat like the Japanese or Greek Islanders; modern food is often processed, high in saturated fats, full of red meat and lacking in fresh fruit and vegetables.
This combination of an unhealthy lifelong diet and increased longevity may be a recipe for a future public health disaster.
In the Summer 2013 edition of Food Ethics, contributors explored issues around obesity and malnutrition, dementia and food-borne diseases in our elderly populations.
Many organisations and individuals are trying to tackle this problem by ensuring that today's children have a balanced diet, that families have access to healthy, nutritious and affordable food, and that anyone who interacts with public institutions are fed diets that avoid unhealthy, processed food.