The NUTRIMAL project had a stand at the 50 plus expo which took place in the RDS in Dublin Oct 20th-22nd 2017. The 50 Plus Expo is the only national consumer event dedicated to older people in Ireland and hosts a number of information and education stands on everything from the winter flu vaccine to retirement planning to yoga. The event attracts thousands of people aged 50 and over every year making it an ideal place for us to recruit participants for the NUTRIMAL project.
At our stand we offered free strength testing and told people about our study. Our stand got lots of interest with queues even forming for the strength testing and over 90 people signed up to attend a screening visit for the NUTRIMAL project. I was lucky to have lots of help at the stand from the great students working on the project!
My sister’s boyfriend who is doing a masters in interactive design helped me design the posters for our stand – compared to my first draft they looked far more professional after he edited them!
We also attended the event in 2016 and it was there that we recruited a number of participants who are currently in the NUTRIMAL project! It was great to bump into them again this year at the expo!
In the afternoon I gave a talk on “Healthy Eating for Positive Aging”. Initially when I turned up to give my talk this was my audience…
Fortunately however it turned out I had just been told the wrong time and luckily an audience showed up an hour later 🙂
Some key points from my talk on Healthy Eating in the over 65s were:
- A good diet and physical activity are powerful strategies to help you keep your body healthy as you age
- The new fruit and veg recommendation is 5 – 7 portions per day
1 portion = 1 medium fruit like an apple or banana, 2 small fruits like kiwis or mandarins, 1 cup of cooked veg, 1 bowl of homemade soup or salad
- Fibre helps to prevent constipation and reduce the risk of colon cancer. Choose whole grains (i.e. brown bread, wholegrain cereals, brown rice, brown pasta, quinoa, wholegrain cous cous) rather than white versions and keep the skins on potatoes and fruit to get more fibre in your diet. When increasing your fibre make sure to also drink plenty of fluid (aim for 8 glasses of fluid per day i.e. water, tea, coffee etc.) or constipation may get worse.
- We lose muscle mass and strength we age. Protein (found in foods like eggs, milk, yogurt, fish, meat, beans, tofu and nuts) is critical for your muscle. Older adults need more protein than younger ones, try to have it at every meal of the day. Older adults typically don’t eat enough protein at breakfast in particular!
- Physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your body. If it was a medication every doctor would prescribe it – keep active!