Academy Applauds House Passage of OAA

Monday, March 21, 2016

CHICAGO – The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, commends the United States House of Representatives for passing the Older Americans Act Reauthorization of 2016 (S.192).

"The Older Americans Act represents a bipartisan effort to provide essential services for seniors, such as nutrition programs, caregiver support and elder justice, among others," said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy President Dr. Evelyn F. Crayton. "We are delighted that this vital legislation has passed, especially as the nation celebrates National Nutrition Month."

"The Older Americans Act is the primary vehicle for delivering social and nutrition programs to older individuals. Its programs provide critical services, including healthy meals, to older adults who might otherwise be at risk of malnutrition," Crayton said.

According to Crayton, benefits of the Older Americans Act include:

  • About 11 million (one in five) older adults are served annually by OAA programs.
  • A varied, healthy diet that takes into account nutritional needs of older Americans keeps them healthy and independent.
  • Nutrition therapy and interventions are cost-effective.
    • The cost of one day in a hospital is roughly the same cost as providing a patient with one year of meals through OAA nutrition programs.
    • The cost of one month in a nursing home is the same cost as providing an OAA nutrition client with mid-day meals, five days per week, for seven years.
    • As primary prevention and health promotion, medical nutrition therapy delivered by registered dietitian nutritionists as part of OAA nutrition programs lessens chronic disease risk and addresses nutrition problems that can lead to more serious and costly conditions and adverse effects.

"The Academy supports the bipartisan efforts of both the House and the Senate on the Older Americans Act Reauthorization of 2016 (S.192), and we hope the minor differences can be worked out quickly and sent to President Obama for his signature very soon," Crayton said.

"The Academy looks forward to working on the implementation of the Older Americans Act to ensure that America's seniors are able to receive these essential services in the future," Crayton said.

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The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at eatright.org.