Early childhood represents a period of rapid growth and development (with a shift from milk based feeding to solid foods), during which it is important to establish good eating habits, Early exposure to healthy foods in childhood can increase later acceptance of such foods in later life. 9 10

During adolescence, young people often exhibit a desire to become more independent in their food choices, which is further complicated by issues around body image, sense of self and peer approval. Adolescent diets are often the furthest from dietary guidance – commonly high in free sugars, saturated fat and salt, and low in fruits and vegetables. 11 12  This is demonstrated locally, with only 20% of 16-24 year olds in the Hackney resident health and wellbeing survey reporting that they eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day (compared with 35% overall). 13 The Local data and unmet need section also provides evidence of unhealthy diets among many younger residents.

A variety of factors influence changes in dietary health as people grow older. These include the ageing process itself, illness or disease, loss of a partner or social relationships, changes to residency, drug interactions and food access issues (such as ability to go food shopping). 14  Older people are at particular risk of undernutrition, which is strongly linked to social isolation. There is no reliable source of data on the number of older people at risk of undernutrition in Hackney or the City, but national estimates suggest that prevalence in the community is one in 10. 15  Conversely, the latest NDNS found that people aged 65 and over were more likely than younger adults to eat the recommended five daily portions of fruit and vegetables. 16

References

  1. B. Williams , C. Bhaumik and E. Brickell, “Life course Tracker,” Gfk NOP social research, 2013.
  2. S. J. Caton, P. Blundell, S. M. Ahem, A. Olsen and P. Moller, “Learning to Eat Vegetables in Early Life: The Role of Timing, Age and Individual Eating Traits,” PLoS ONE, vol. 9, no. 5, 2014.
  3. Public Health England, “Child Diet Factsheet,” ONS, London, 2015.
  4. Public Health England and the Food Standards Agency , “National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Results from Years 5-6 (combined) of the Rolling Programme (2012/13-2013/14),” Crown Copyright , London , 2016.
  5. Ipsos MORI, “Health and Wellbeing in Hackney: Survey Report for Hackney Council,” 2015.
  6. Caroline Walker Trust, “Eating well for Older People,” 2011.
  7. European Nutrition for Health Alliance, “Malnutrition among Older People in the Community: Policy recommendations for change,” European Nutrition for Health Alliance, London , 2006.
  8. Public Health England and the Food Standards Agency , “National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Results from Years 5-6 (combined) of the Rolling Programme (2012/13-2013/14),” Crown Copyright , London , 2016.
  9. B. Williams , C. Bhaumik and E. Brickell, “Life course Tracker,” Gfk NOP social research, 2013.
  10. S. J. Caton, P. Blundell, S. M. Ahem, A. Olsen and P. Moller, “Learning to Eat Vegetables in Early Life: The Role of Timing, Age and Individual Eating Traits,” PLoS ONE, vol. 9, no. 5, 2014.
  11. Public Health England, “Child Diet Factsheet,” ONS, London, 2015.
  12. Public Health England and the Food Standards Agency , “National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Results from Years 5-6 (combined) of the Rolling Programme (2012/13-2013/14),” Crown Copyright , London , 2016.
  13. Ipsos MORI, “Health and Wellbeing in Hackney: Survey Report for Hackney Council,” 2015.
  14. Caroline Walker Trust, “Eating well for Older People,” 2011.
  15. European Nutrition for Health Alliance, “Malnutrition among Older People in the Community: Policy recommendations for change,” European Nutrition for Health Alliance, London , 2006.
  16. Public Health England and the Food Standards Agency , “National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Results from Years 5-6 (combined) of the Rolling Programme (2012/13-2013/14),” Crown Copyright , London , 2016.