Determinants of decreased dietary intake of elderly people in Israel.

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Background: Aging was found to be associated with weightloss and decreased dietary intake associated with increasedmorbidity and mortality.
Objetctives: To determine the dietary intake of olderpersons in Israel and identify the factors associated withdecreased intake.
Methods: 1178 people were randomly selected out of theNegev population, 368 were over 65 years of age. Participants wereinterviewed for dietary intake using 24-h food questionnaire withadditional questions regarding health and eating habits. Dataregarding the US population was retrieved from the USDA data, 1994,CSSII data file, which include data on 736 people over 65 yearsold.

Results: Older people consumed lower calories than theyounger age groups (1498.87± 622.89, 1772.35± 811.7,respectively) as well as most of the other nutrients includingiron, zinc, vitamin C, B1 and B6. Energy and dietary intake ofcalcium, zinc, alpha-tocopherol, and folic acid were lower than 75%of the RDA for the elderly. The same trend was shown in the USDAdata. The mean dietary intake of all the macronutrients was higherin the US database (energy intake: USDA- 1646.26± 731.95,NNS-1498.87± 622.89) as well as calcium and iron intake. InIsrael dietary intake of people over 75 years was significantlylower than people aged 65-74 for most nutrients, while in the USDAthe trend of decreased intake remained but was less pronounced.Decreased caloric intake after adjustment for age was associatedwith lower subjective health status (p< 0.001 for males, p= 0.05for females), decreased appetite (p=0.3, p<0.001), swallowingproblems (p= 0.86, p= 0.02) and lower education (p= 0.06, p= 0.15).In a multivariate model to predict caloric intake health status andeducation remained significant for males and decreased appetite andswallowing problems for females.
Discussion: The reduction in dietary intake in theelderly appears to be a global phenomenon. From a public healthperspective, identification of nutritional high-risk behaviors mayhelp in designing the appropriate intervention programs, which mayprevent the health deterioration pattern associated withaging.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377
JournalRevista Espanola de Geriatria y Gerontologia
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000


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