• HealthClaimsUnpacked

But no one else is interested in health claims, right?

Simon Steenson, British Nutrition Foundation



Many of us become more conscious of our health as we get older and may be looking for positive changes we can make towards a healthier lifestyle. The results gathered from our online toolkit certainly seem to show this is the case: we found that adults aged 45 to 54 have the most health concerns, but also had the most health goals.


When it comes to knowledge, adults in the over 65 category showed that they were the best informed about nutrients and their health benefits. But what are some of the health claims that are likely to appeal to older adults looking to make more health conscious food choices?


Here are a few examples:

  • Calcium and vitamin D: Calcium and vitamin D help to reduce the loss of bone mineral in post-menopausal women. Low bone mineral density is a risk factor for osteoporotic bone fractures (weak and brittle bones that are more likely to break).

  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): ALA contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels. (ALA is a type of omega 3 fat.)

  • Foods with a low or reduced content of sodium: Reducing consumption of sodium contributes to the maintenance of normal blood pressure.

  • Potassium: Potassium contributes to the maintenance of normal blood pressure.

  • Meal replacement for weight control: Substituting two daily meals of an energy restricted diet with meal replacements contributes to weight loss.


One of the issues highlighted by the consumer focus groups we held last year was that health-conscious adults aged over 50 were sceptical about health claims on products they considered to be unhealthy (such as cereals, tinned beans, and breakfast replacement drinks). This could be a barrier for older adults wanting to make healthier choices when they are shopping. Could changing the wording and the way in which these claims are presented make a difference? This is what the Health Claims Unpacked project aims to find out.


Are you an older adult looking to make healthier choices? Do you trust the health claims you see on labels, like the ones above? Get in touch using the Contact Us link above and let us know your thoughts.

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This activity has received funding from EIT Food, the innovation community on Food of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the EU, under the Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.