Christina Economos discusses Living in the Balance: Nutrition and Physical Activity for a Lifetime as part of the Healing and Healthy Aging: Nurture and Nature track at the 2007 Chautauqua Institution Summer Program.
Is aging well by choice or by chance? Advances in medical science provide for longer life expectancies in many Western countries. As we age, what are our expectations for quality of life, freedom from pain, and ability to coherently contribute to our families and the greater society? Will emerging research in neuroscience - marking the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Alzheimer's Disease - guide us to better aging? Can the growing industry of pharmacology counter individual genetic tendencies, and at what expense and length? We will explore how the "boomers" heading into retirement affect families, communities, the workplace, economics, and medical ethics- Chautauqua Institution
Dr. Christina Economos
Dr. Christina Economos is an Assistant Professor of Nutrition at Tufts University's School of Nutrition Science and Policy and a Research Scientist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. Dr. Economos received a Bachelor of Science from Boston University, a Master of Science in Applied Physiology and Nutrition from Columbia University and a doctorate in Nutrition Science from Tufts University. Her research efforts are focused on the interaction between diet, exercise, body composition, and aging, with an emphasis on techniques that accurately measure and interventions that optimally develop and preserve skeletal muscle and bone mass throughout the lifespan. Dr. Economos is dedicated to the continuous development of communication strategies and public health policies that deal with the complex relationships between nutrition, health, disease and human performance. Dr. Economos directed the countryâ€™s largest statewide osteoporosis prevention initiative for two years prior to joining Tufts.
In addition to her teaching and research she serves on the Massachusetts Osteoporosis Awareness Program Advisory Committee, is an appointed member of the Massachusetts Governorâ€™s Committee on Physical Fitness and Sports, and is Vice President of the National Association of Governorâ€™s Councils on Physical Fitness and Sports.
Processes of taking in and utilizing food substances. Food generates energy and supplies materials used in body tissues and processes. Calories are supplied by carbohydrates (sugars and starches), fats, and proteins. Other nutrients include minerals, vitamins, and dietary fibre. Minerals are used in many waysiron for hemoglobin; calcium for bones, teeth, and cellular processes; sodium and potassium to regulate homeostasis, iodine to produce thyroid hormones. Trace minerals have functions that are less well-understood. Fibre is not broken down chemically in the body but aids digestion, lowers blood cholesterol, and may help prevent some cancers and hypertension. Different amounts of these nutrients exist in different foods; a varied diet ensures an adequate supply. Nutritional supplements, required by some people, do not compensate for an unhealthy diet. Sufficient water is always essential. Inadequate nutrient intake or absorption leads to malnutrition and disease.