Sex Differences Across the Life Course: A Focus On Unique Nutritional and Health Considerations among Women

Regan L. Bailey, Tieraona Low Dog, Abbie E. Smith-Ryan, Sai Krupa Das, Fiona C. Baker, Zeynep Madak-Erdogan, Billy R. Hammond, Howard D. Sesso, Alex Eapen, Susan H. Mitmesser, Andrea Wong, Haiuyen Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the United States, women, while having a longer life expectancy than men, experience a differential risk for chronic diseases and have unique nutritional needs based on physiological and hormonal changes across the life span. However, much of what is known about health is based on research conducted in men. Additional complexity in assessing nutritional needs within gender include the variations in genetics, body compositions, hormonal milieus, underlying chronic diseases, and medication usage, with this list expanding as we consider these variables across the life course. It is clear women experience nutrient shortfalls during key periods of their lives, which may differentially impact their health. Consequently, as we move into the era of precision nutrition, understanding these sex- and gender-based differences may help optimize recommendations and interventions chosen to support health and weight management. Recently, a scientific conference was convened with content experts to explore these topics from a life-course perspective at biological, physiological, and behavioral levels. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop and provides an overview of important nutrition and related lifestyle considerations across the life course. The landscape of addressing female-specific nutritional needs continues to grow; now more than ever, it is essential to increase our understanding of the physiological differences between men and women, and determine how these physiological considerations may aid in optimizing nutritional strategies to support certain personal goals related to health, quality of life, sleep, and exercise performance among women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1597-1610
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume152
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

Keywords

  • dietary supplements
  • female health
  • life course nutrition
  • precision nutrition
  • women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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