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EIT Food Healthy Ageing Think & Do Tank

EIT Food Healthy Ageing Think & Do Tank brings together strategic and delivery partners from across Europe to foster effective collaboration, knowledge sharing, and impactful initiatives that accelerate food system transformation to promote healthy ageing.


By 2030, one in six people worldwide will be aged 60 years or over, increasing from 1 billion in 2020 to 1.4 billion. By 2050, this number is expected to double to 2.1 billion, with the number of people aged 80 and older tripling to 426 million​. 

Aligned with other institutions like the United Nations which launched the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021-2030) with the aim to improve lives of older people worldwide, EIT Food launched a new Think & Do Tank called “EIT Food Healthy Ageing”. An ambitious initiative successfully launched in Bilbao on 16 April 2024, in the context of the Food 4 Future Worldwide Summit.

EIT Food Healthy Aging Think & Do Tank

EIT Food Healthy Ageing Think and Do & Tank is an independent body that engages all stakeholders within the food system, in a structured discussion to identify gaps, barriers, and opportunities as well as co-creates evidence-based roadmaps and recommends actions and policies for EIT Food Mission 1 “Healthier Lives through food” to drive the food systems transformation.

A group of 31 European leaders and experts from 19 universities, technology centers, and companies across 12 countries is committed to finding sustainable and economically scalable solutions for maintaining the health and well-being of the ageing population.

Strategies for Promoting Healthy Ageing

  • Engaging Stakeholders: Foster consultation, communication, and dissemination efforts to involve all relevant parties. This ensures that the needs and perspectives of older adults, caregivers, healthcare providers, policymakers, chefs, and the broader community are considered and integrated into decision-making processes.
  • Advocating: Promote a systems thinking approach and highlight the importance of engaging with the entire food system. This holistic perspective ensures that all aspects of food production, distribution, and consumption are aligned with healthy ageing goals.
  • Encouraging Collaboration among EIT Food Partners: Explore collaborative opportunities to address genuine needs and facilitate the launch and scaling of innovative food products. Partnering with various stakeholders can enhance resource sharing, innovation, and impact.
  • Healthy Ageing Awareness: Increase recognition of the aging processes in consumers and raise awareness about the importance of healthy ageing. Educating both the public and stakeholders on ageing-related issues can lead to better support and resources for older adults.
  • Market Strategy and Positioning: Effectively create and position solutions and products in the market to cater to the specific needs and preferences of ageing consumers. Understanding market dynamics and consumer behavior can lead to more successful product adoption and satisfaction.
  • Behavior Insights: Identify motivation triggers for food consumption and establish links to emotions and behaviors to better address consumer needs. By understanding what drives food choices, strategies can be tailored to promote healthier eating habits among older adults.

EIT Food Healthy Ageing Think & Do Tank: An Introduction

Specific lines of action for promoting healthy ageing

  • Preventing Age-Related Non-Communicable Diseases: Implement nutrition strategies targeting non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Emphasize the role of diet in prevention and management, promoting heart-healthy and low-glycemic food choices.
  • Personalised Nutrition Plans: Develop personalized nutrition plans that address the specific dietary needs of people at different stages of life, taking into account individual health conditions, dietary preferences, and lifestyle factors. Tailored plans can enhance overall health and wellbeing by providing the right nutrients in appropriate amounts.
  • Toolbox Development for Stakeholders: Create comprehensive toolboxes with practical guides and training programs for caregivers and healthcare providers. These resources will help implement effective health and nutrition initiatives for the ageing population, ensuring consistent and high-quality care.
  • Enhancing Data Collection and Analysis: Develop better metrics for assessing nutritional status and health outcomes in older adults. Use big data and advanced analytics to track the impact of dietary interventions and refine strategies for better results.
  • Immunity Enhancement through Nutrition: Promote nutritional strategies to boost immune function in older adults. Emphasize the importance of nutrients like zinc, vitamin C, and probiotics, which play a crucial role in maintaining a strong immune system.
  • Wellbeing and the Microbiome: Examine the impact of diet on gut health and overall wellbeing. Focus on the benefits of probiotics and prebiotics in maintaining a healthy microbiome, which can improve digestion, enhance immune function, and potentially influence mood and cognitive function.
  • Diet and Mental Health: Investigate the relationship between nutrition and cognitive function, and develop dietary strategies to prevent depression and anxiety in older adults. Promote foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and other nutrients that support brain health.
  • Market Strategy and Positioning: Effectively market and position solutions and products tailored to the needs and preferences of ageing consumers. Understand market trends and consumer behavior to ensure successful product adoption and satisfaction.
  • Consumer Behavior Insights: Identify motivation triggers for food consumption and establish links to emotions and behaviors to better address consumer needs. Develop interventions that encourage healthy eating habits by leveraging these insights.
  • Prevention of Malnutrition: Address both overnutrition and undernutrition, and tackle vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the elderly. Ensure a balanced diet that meets the nutritional requirements and prevents malnutrition-related health issues.
  • Sensory and Flavor Enhancements: Innovate in creating age-specific sensory and flavor enhancements for food to make meals more appealing and enjoyable for older adults. This can help maintain their interest in food and support better nutritional intake.
  • Community-Based Programs: Develop community-based programs that provide social support and nutrition education to ageing population. These programs can foster social connections, reduce isolation, and promote healthier lifestyles.
  • Educational Campaigns: Launch educational campaigns to raise awareness about the importance of healthy ageing and nutrition. Provide information on how to make healthier food choices, manage portion sizes, and read nutrition labels.

Think & Do Tank Participants

EIT Food Think & Do Tank Leaders

EIT Food Think & Do Tank Extended Team

EIT Food Healthy Ageing Report on Personalised Nutrition

This reports written by Klaus G. Grunert · Professor, Department of Management at Aarhus University, sets out a comprehensive approach on consumers perspective on personalised nutrition.

Project lead

Begon âa Perez Villarreal2 1
Begoña Pérez-Villarreal EIT Food South

Regional Director – EIT Food South

Lorena Savani EIT Food South

Mission Lead (Healthier lives through food)

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