HPB dishes out ‘Recipe for Healthy Ageing’
This is a part of a nutrition campaign under the Action Plan for Successful Ageing to empower seniors to eat right and age well.
As part of the initiatives under the Action Plan for Successful Ageing, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) has kicked off a nutrition campaign to help seniors 50 years old and above understand the importance of good nutrition, and to provide them with tips to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
The nutritional needs of a person changes with age and becomes increasingly important in later life. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diseases that affect seniors more often, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer, are all related to diet. Positive dietary changes, such as reduction in salt intake and increased consumption of fruit and vegetables by one to two servings daily, can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
This new nutrition campaign is tailored for seniors and aims to address findings from the National Nutrition Survey 2010 that one in two seniors do not have an adequate intake of calcium, one in four seniors do not eat enough protein, and three in four seniors eat less than the recommended two daily servings of vegetables.
A toolkit titled ‘The Recipe for Healthy Ageing’ has been specially produced for seniors to help them understand the importance of a healthy diet and to eat healthily. The toolkit comprises a nutrition guide, recipe book and an educational poster.
Presented in an easy-to-understand format, the nutrition guide and the educational poster contain information on essential nutrients including protein and calcium, and provides tips on incorporating food from different food groups to meet the dietary requirements of seniors. Practical information such as pictorial examples of recommended food and serving size are also included in the guide.
A recipe book with easy-to-cook recipes accompanies the nutrition guide and there are healthy eating tips to encourage seniors to prepare healthy and tasty meals at home. For example, seniors can learn to cook laksa fried rice with brown rice and less salt. The recipe allows them to enjoy the original flavour of laksa and adopt healthier food preparation methods. A healthier eating tip on reducing added salt during cooking to help manage high blood pressure is also included to supplement the recipe.
“If we can eat right, we can age well. Through the campaign, HPB hopes to raise awareness among seniors on the importance of good nutrition. Whether we are eating out or preparing meals at home, it is possible to make positive changes in our diet. Seniors and caregivers can pick up simple tips on how to make healthier food choices from the nutrition guide and recipe book, ” said Senior Minister of State for Health, Dr Amy Khor, who graced the launch event.
Some of HPB’s partners are lending weight to the campaign by helping to reach out to senior shoppers. The nutrition guide, educational poster and recipe book which are available in four languages will be distributed at a later date through HPB’s partners such as FairPrice, Sheng Siong, Unity Pharmacy and at selected outlets of Guardian Health & Beauty, Kopitiam, POSB and Watsons Personal Care Stores. The People’s Association is also supporting HPB by making available the toolkits at all its community centres from May 20 onwards. The toolkits will also be available for viewing and downloading at www.healthyageing.sg/nutrition. Please visit the website for updates on the partners’ distribution.
Mature workers from HPB’s workplace health programmes will also receive the nutrition toolkit, as part of efforts to educate them on eating well. These toolkits complement existing programmes that are available in the workplace. HPB has also produced an educational video which guides seniors to choose food items which are high in nutrients when they shop for groceries and the dietary changes they can adopt when dining out. The video is available for viewing and downloading on www.healthyageing.sg/nutrition.
The nutrition campaign is the second in a series of healthy lifestyle campaigns by the HPB under the National Seniors’ Health Programme. The Programme is one of the key initiatives under the Action Plan for Successful Ageing, announced by Minister for Health and Minister-in-charge of Ageing, Gan Kim Yong, in 2015. It aims to raise awareness among seniors to keep healthy, and encourage and empower seniors to take charge of their health so they can maintain their physical well-being, mental well-being and functional health. The inaugural campaign was launched in September last year with an exercise video for seniors titled “7 Easy Exercises to an Active Lifestyle”.