Functional food to improve health and aging

November 23, 2018 | 10:34
On November 22, 2018, the Vietnam Food Safety Authority under the Ministry of Health and the Vietnam Association of Functional Food organised the second International Scientific Conference on Functional Food.
functional food to improve health and aging
Conference participants at the Second International Conference on Functional Food

The conference focused on industry expertise and knowledge and discussions on functional food in Vietnam and the world; reports of scientific achievements and technology, advanced techniques applied in functional food; planning for functional food development in Vietnam; introduction of research projects on functional food and related areas from organisations, the sustainable growth of functional food for the sake of public health, and making the Vietnamese functional food industry a highly effective contributor to the economy.

functional food to improve health and aging

At the conference, Isha Singh, with 10 years of experience in the food and nutrition industry, who is currently the manager of Scientific Affairs, Herbalife Nutrition for the APAC and India, held a presentation on "healthy aging.”

Isha emphasised that aging is an inevitable part of life, but getting older does not mean people cannot stay healthy and fit. She also focused on the various impacts of aging on health, like metabolism, digestion, heart health, mobility with regards to bone and joint health, muscle wasting, vision, as well as brain health. She spoke about various functional ingredients which can be helpful to achieve healthy aging.

“This is greatly influenced by various factors, including diet and lifestyle. Good nutrition combined with a healthy active lifestyle play an important role to help you look and feel your best in your golden years,” she said. In other words, aging can be healthy.

Overall, healthy aging is a concept that focuses on optimising opportunities and promoting vitality throughout a person’s lifestyle. Healthy aging supports active participation in the society to allow the individuals to realise their potential for physical, social, and mental wellbeing. “It is essential to start taking the right steps earlier and age healthier. Good nutrition choices along with healthy active lifestyle are the key to achieve successful healthy aging. Moreover, it is true when they say, ‘you are what you eat’ – Nutrition is critical to the process of healthy aging!” Isha concluded.

functional food to improve health and aging

Vietnam’s population is ageing quickly. In 2017, more than 10 per cent of the population were 60 and older, and in 15-20 years the elderly will account for one third of the total population.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Vietnam is among the countries with the fastest ageing rate in the world. In 2017, Vietnam had an estimated 10 million older adults and this number is expected to rise to 19 million by 2030 and 28 million by 2050. This raises concerns about healthcare, welfare, and pensions for the elderly at a time when Vietnam is focusing on economic integration and requires a large labour force (UNFPA, 2011).

By Nguyen Huong

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional