Dietary Habits of Seniors with Some Activity Limitations
To determine which food groups compromise the adequacy of diet among 145 community-living seniors with some activity limitations, this cross-sectional survey used an interviewer-administered questionnaire, The Multi-Functional Assessment Questionnaire, to derive an activity limitation score. Current food intake was collected with Block's food frequency and assessed with a diet score. Weight and knee heights were obtained with standardized methods to determine body mass index (BMI) and relate weight to diet habits. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to ascertain recent changes in food habits and weight. The majority of seniors (83%) had activity scores indicating moderate to severe functional impairment. The average diet score indicated adequate dietary intake, although a substantial proportion of participants did not consume minimum recommended servings of grain products, vegetables, fruits, meat and meat alternatives. Many respondents reported recent changes in their food intake, primarily a decrease. Although the average BMI was satisfactory, 12% had a value below 20. BMI was positively and significantly associated with diet score. Two-thirds of respondents reported a weight change, with 65% being weight losses. Weight loss was significantly associated with decreased intake of meat products and poor appetite. These activity-limited seniors reported diets low in grain products, vegetables and fruits, and decreases in food intake and weight loss. Whether or not the level of activity limitation is associated with these changes remains to be determined. (Can J Diet Prac Res 1999;60:214-221).
Keller, HH; Østbye, T; Bright-See, E
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