When Congress passed the Older American Act Amendments of 2006, they officially acknowledged the health benefits taking a multivitamin bestows. This appears to be the first time that Congress has ever officially recognized the health benefits a multivitamin-mineral supplement can provide for the aging adult population.
Congress noted that good nutrition is vital to good health and in helping to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, macular degeneration and cancer. Unfortunately, citing statistics from the American Dietetic Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians, it is estimated that 20 to 60 percent of older adults in home care are malnourished. For older adults residing in a nursing home, the percentage figures for malnourishment jump to 40 to 85 percent.
The Congressional mandate stated that although diet is the preferred source of nutrition, "use of a single daily multivitamin-mineral supplement can be a safe and inexpensive strategy to help ensure the nutritional health of older adults."
H.R. 6197 - Sec. 318 (Oct. 17, 2006).