Objective: To determine dietary intake and eating patterns of older persons in Israel and to identify factors associated with low intake. Design: A cross-sectional study. Setting: Community-dwelling participants living in the Beer-Sheva area were interviewed at home, using a 24 h food questionnaire with additional questions regarding health and eating habits. Dietary intake was compared between people aged 65-74 and 75 y and older. Subjects: A total of 377 people over the age of 65 224 aged 65-74 and 153 > 75, were randomly selected from the Negev population. Results: Dietary intake of energy, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins E, C and B1 were significantly lower for people aged 75 and older compared with people aged 65-74. Low energy intake was associated with lower subjective health status for men (P < 0.01), poor appetite (P < 0.01) and more gastrointestinal problems (P < 0.05) for women and lower snack consumption (P < 0.01) for both genders. In a multivariate model, low energy intake was associated with low appetite and higher use of medication for both sexes and with frequency of eating alone and not consuming snacks for men. Conclusions: Dietary intake is lower among indiviouals older than 75 than in 65-74 y old. Risk factors for low intake include poor appetite and health status, gastrointestinal problems, and eating alone. Snacking enhanced dietary intake and should be encouraged in this group.
- Dietary intake
- Eating patterns