Inadequate nutrient intakes among homebound elderly and their correlation with individual characteristics and health-related factors

The findings suggest that home-delivered meals programs should target specific subgroups of participants with interventions, such as a breakfast meal or more-nutrient-dense meals, tailored to increase nutrient intakes and reduce the prevalence of nutrient inadequacy

Joseph R Sharkey


Scholarcy highlights

  • Nutritional inadequacy represents a potential health threat to the entire elderly population, the risk of poor nutrition is greater among some subgroups of community-living older adults
  • Cross-tabular analysis indicated that Nutrition and Function Study subjects were not significantly different in age, sex, and race from the home-delivered meal participants not included in the study
  • Research on the adequacy of nutrient intakes has started to recognize the greater vulnerability of certain groups of the elderly, including women, blacks, and those who are homebound
  • The present study attempted to highlight the prevalence of inadequate nutrient intakes by using three 24-h dietary recalls, the newly released DRIs, and the correlates of low nutrient intakes among a probability sample of 345 homebound elderly persons
  • Home-delivered meals were regularly provided to all men and women in this study, their dietary intake suggested inadequacies in key nutrients that have previously been associated with physical and cognitive function, immune response, bone health, and vision
  • The most commonly reported diseases and health conditions were arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, various lung diseases, history of heart attacks
  • This was apparently the first report to use the estimated average requirement as the appropriate criterion for nutrient inadequacy among the homebound elderly, and we found a large number of subjects with inadequate intakes in individual and multiple nutrients
  • Considering that the DRIs refer to the “nutrient intake of apparently healthy individuals over time” and that the burden of certain disorders may lead to increased energy requirements , the high prevalence of observed nutrient inadequacies may understate the proportion of home-delivered meal participants who are vulnerable to nutrient deficiencies

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