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Open AccessArticle

Eating Habits in Older Adults: Compliance with the Recommended Daily Intakes and Its Relationship with Sociodemographic Characteristics, Clinical Conditions, and Lifestyles

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Nursing Department, Health Psychology and Human Behavior Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Alicante, 03690 Alicante, Spain
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Department of Health Psychology, Health Psychology and Human Behavior Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Alicante, 03690 Alicante, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(2), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020446
Received: 20 January 2020 / Revised: 6 February 2020 / Accepted: 7 February 2020 / Published: 11 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Nutritional Epidemiology)
Background: Older people have different nutritional requirements from those of the general population; in particular, they need a lower energy intake, higher protein content to preserve muscle mass, and a greater supply of vitamins and minerals to maintain good bone health. The objective of this study is to evaluate the degree of compliance with nutritional recommendations, and its relationship with sociodemographic characteristics, clinical conditions, and lifestyles in older people residing in the Spanish Mediterranean. Methods: Cross-sectional study with 341 people over 60 years old. Participants were selected using a snowball strategy. A validated food intake frequency questionnaire for older populations was used to determine the daily food intake. This evaluation was carried out at two time points from which the average nutrient intake was obtained. Sociodemographic, clinical, and lifestyle variables were obtained from an ad hoc elaborated questionnaire. Results: Compliance with dietary intakes was low, by deficiency, such as in vitamin D, where none of the participating subjects met the requirements, and iodine, where the compliance rate did not exceed 20%, or by excess, such as with monounsaturated fatty acids, fiber, iron, B vitamins, vitamin E, and vitamin C. People with better blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels observed a higher degree of compliance with the recommended intakes. Living in rural areas, being divorced, or being illiterate negatively influence meeting the recommended intakes of certain nutrients. Increased physical activity was associated with an increased compliance with Kcal recommendations, cholesterol, and vitamin B2 intake. Conclusion: this study highlights the importance of accurately knowing the dietary intakes in the older population, and what factors, such as lifestyles or sociodemographic characteristics, may predispose to better or worse compliance with the recommendations.
Keywords: nutrient intake; older adults; dietary recommendation; healthy ageing nutrient intake; older adults; dietary recommendation; healthy ageing
MDPI and ACS Style

Zaragoza-Martí, A.; Ruiz-Robledillo, N.; Sánchez-SanSegundo, M.; Albaladejo-Blázquez, N.; Hurtado-Sánchez, J.A.; Ferrer-Cascales, R. Eating Habits in Older Adults: Compliance with the Recommended Daily Intakes and Its Relationship with Sociodemographic Characteristics, Clinical Conditions, and Lifestyles. Nutrients 2020, 12, 446.

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