Nutrition and aging are inseparably connected as eating patterns affect the progress of many degenerative diseases associated with aging. In turn, the nutritional status of the elderly, particularly minority elders (the most rapidly growing segment of the population in the United States), may be adversely affected by a number of factors associated either directly or indirectly with aging. Because reducing morbidity through health promotion and disease prevention could both improve the quality of elderly life and lessen the burden on the health care system, it would seem reasonable that such efforts, including nutrition education, in minority elderly would be of benefit. The extent of the potential value of such preventive programs, however, remains uncertain, and the task of determining nutrient needs of the elderly difficult. Special studies are required to describe the association of nutrition-related factors with chronic diseases, particularly those prevalent in minority elders.