Activity limitation and food intake in community-living seniors
The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which functional ability was associated with dietary intake in community-living seniors with some activity limitation. In this cross-sectional survey, 145 seniors were recruited from 15 recreation, day programs or seniors' apartment complexes. Dietary intake was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire and evaluated for adequacy with a Diet Score. An Activity Score was derived from 15 questions on basic and instrumental activities of daily living. Demographic, health, psychosocial, functional and behavioural factors that could influence diet intake were measured with standardized, validated scales. Diet Score was significantly and positively associated with income, hearing, education, satisfaction with use of time, number of medications and age. Activity Score, the belief that health affects activity level, shopping behaviour and smoking were negatively and significantly associated with Diet Score. Many factors influence the dietary intake of seniors, including extent of functional limitations. This analysis suggests that the most dependent seniors living in the community consume better diets than those seniors with few limitations; this finding is probably a result of informal and formal support services for these functionally dependent seniors.
Keller, HH; Ostbye, T; Bright-See, E; Campbell, MK
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