The Ocular Nutrition Society issued a statement concerning American’s lack of eye health education, calling for the development of guidelines on nutrition and eye health.
The diets of Americans are “disconcerting, as is the lack of awareness of key nutrients and other modifiable risk factors that impact eye health,” according to the statement.
A consumer survey conducted by Ocular Nutrition Society (ONS) found low awareness of specific nutrients that are important for eye health, and most were not aware that smoking increases the risk of blindness.
“There is a need for guidelines that include nutritional recommendations and other lifestyle modifications to aid people in making better choices for protecting the health of their eyes as they age,” the ONS statement said. “As such, we support new efforts to develop such guidelines as well as subsequent educational initiatives designed to raise awareness of these recommendations among public and professional audiences.”
According to the press release, the statement is the consensus of a multidisciplinary roundtable of experts from the fields of optometry, ophthalmology, diet, nutrition and primary care. The ONS convened the panel to review data on nutrients that support eye health and results from the survey conducted by the ONS on baby boomer attitudes and awareness regarding eye health.
“Eye health is a significant, but under-appreciated, public health issue,” ONS President Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO, said in the press release. “The goal of this consensus statement and its call to action is to help address this issue by providing greater education and guidance on steps Americans should be taking, including optimizing their daily intake of important nutrients, to protect the health of their eyes as they age.”– Cheryl DiPietro