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July 19, 1952


JAMA. 1952;149(12):1143. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930290065019

As time passes and the life expectancy of our population slowly increases, some apprehension appears with respect to the physiological well-being of the older adults. This group is not characterized by age in years alone but rather by a discernible decline in physical vigor and activity. Because of the lack of precise evaluation of the problem, the nutrition during later years of life has attracted considerable attention, and one recent comment1 presents a well-considered point of view. The general principles governing the planning of a diet for the aged are not different from those for other age groups. The subjects themselves often plan their dietary program in the pattern of their youth, a period before the foundations of good nutrition were firmly established. Furthermore, because there is diminished physical activity, less food is required, and interest in food lags when mastication is difficult or digestive activity is retarded. Chronic

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