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EFAD calls on dietitians in Europe to play a key-role in primary & secondary prevention

EFAD Announcement

February 2018


Ageing: a natural process but with significant impacts. EFAD calls on dietitians in Europe to play a key-role in primary and secondary prevention.


The European Federation of the Associations of Dietitians (EFAD) is focusing on a public health problem that affects older adults. It is a fact that the number of older adults in the EU is now increasing. Ageing is a natural process, related to the social, mental, emotional and physiological circumstances surrounding an older adult, and this in turn may have an impact on the capability of an older adult to obtain adequate nutritional intake. Inadequate intake, as well as age-related changes in metabolism, may result in or contribute to various nutrition-related disorders, like malnutrition (undernutrition) and/or sarcopenia.

It is well known among scientists and health professionals that the socio-economic status of an individual plays an important role in their nutritional wellbeing.

What is needed now is for all European politicians to develop health policies, emphasizingthe importance of healthy nutrition, with the aim of improving an older adult’s quality of life.

Individuals that are malnourished or have an age-related disorder need support from trained health professionals.

Populations need prevention strategies at a local, national and European level in order to raise awareness, develop efficient nutrition and health strategies, and limit this phenomenon.

Therefore, the ESDN Older Adults Committee of EFAD supports and collaborates with international initiatives, like ONCA and MaNuEL, on optimizing nutritional care for older adults.

 EFAD’s position paper [1]highlights dietitians’ key role in both primary and secondary prevention.

EFAD supports the work of European dietitians in this aim, encouraging the collaboration with other healthcare professionals, as members of multidisciplinary geriatric teams.

Dietitians are the key to fostering positive dialogue in the implementation of public health policies, to decrease the risk of non-communicable diseases, as well as nutrition-related disorders.

In particular, the role of the dietitian is essential in the initiation and coordination of nutritional screening programmes, to identify malnutrition and its risk factors in older adults, with the intention of creating a healthier society.


EFAD is the voice of 35.000 European dietitians from 35 member associations, and the only organisation advocating for dietitians in Europe.

The aims of EFAD are to:

  • Promote the development of the dietetic profession
  • Develop dietetics on a scientific and professional level in the common interest of the member associations
  • Facilitate communication between national dietetic associations and other organisations – professional, educational, and governmental
  • Encourage a better nutrition situation for the population of the member countries of Europe.


The European Federation of the Associations of Dietitians Judith Liddell RD

EFAD Secretary General +49 2822 68367  secretariat@efad.or [2]g

European Specialist Dietetic Network for Older Adults Harriët Jager-Wittenaar, PhD, RD – ESDN Lead  ha.jager@pl.hanze.n [3]l

+31 623668897

Released by EFAD’s Communication Group

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