There’s a sad reality in residential aged care facilities: the nutritional value of foods served is often inadequate and fails to meet Australian Dietary Guidelines for older adults. In this podcast, we’re joined by Dr Sandra Iuliano to explore the extent to which food in aged care facilities impacts a resident’s health. Sandra talks through the key findings of The Fractures Trial, a world first research initiative which found intake of three and a half serves of dairy a day over two years prevented malnutrition in older people and reduced hip fractures by 46%. Sandra also emphasises the crucial role dietitians play in collaborating with chefs and educating healthcare professionals to improve resident’s food intake.



Dr. Sandra Iuliano is a senior research fellow in the department of medicine, University of Melbourne. Relative to aging, her work focussed on food-based approaches to prevent falls, fractures and malnutrition in older adults in aged-care. Her more recent work involved over 7000 older adults from 60 residential aged-care facilities to determine the benefits of a food-based approach to enhance intake of calcium and protein to prevent falls and fractures, and reduce risk of malnutrition. Dr Iuliano provided input into the quality and safety standards for aged care, was summoned to present evidence at the Royal Commission in aged-care and is a member of the National Aged Care Advisory Council. She is a strong advocate for improving nutritional care and quality of life via improved food provision in aged-care.


In this episode, we discuss:

  • How dairy consumption translates to reduced falls and fractures
  • The knowledge and skills dietitians need to successfully implement research findings
  • The importance of offering calcium-fortified plant-based alternatives to residents on dairy-free diets
  • How to promote nutrition as a key consideration within residential aged care facilities
  • The rewarding nature of working as a food service dietitian in aged care

Additional resources

The Fractures Trial

Malnutrition Week ANZ Webinar Series: Make or break: The importance of dairy for older adults

This podcast is not, and is not intended to be, medical advice, which should be tailored to your individual circumstances. This podcast is for your information only, and we advise that you exercise your own judgment before deciding to use the information provided. Professional medical advice should be obtained before taking action.  Please see here for terms and conditions.

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