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Nutrients and Caloric Intake Associated with Fruits, Vegetables, and Legumes in the Elderly European Population

Unit of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Public Health, Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, and Vascular Sciences, University of Padova, 35143 Padova, Italy
Research Support Unit, Department of Translational Medicine, University of Eastern Piedmont, 28100 Novara, Italy
Zeta Research, 34122 Trieste, Italy
The Juice Plus+® Science Institute, Collierville, TN 38017, USA
Otto Loewi Research Center, Division of Physiological Chemistry, Medical University of Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria
Green Beat—Institute of Nutrient Research, 8010 Graz, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2746;
Received: 12 August 2020 / Revised: 1 September 2020 / Accepted: 2 September 2020 / Published: 9 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition and Public Health)
Nutrition is emerging as a key factor in promoting healthy lifestyles in the growing elderly population across Europe. In this study, we examined the non-animal-derived food source consumption among the elderly European population to evaluate the actual contributions of these foods to the diet of the elders. We gathered 21 studies conducted in 17 European countries to evaluate the fruit, vegetable, and legume (along with their derived products) consumption among the elderly (>65 years) population. Foods’ nutritional values were calculated and compared to the recommended intakes. A Bayesian multilevel hierarchical analysis was conducted to estimate the caloric intake of food categories and to compare the elderly and general adult populations. Although the lowest consumption was generally associated with the lowest nutrient and fiber intake, the reverse was not always the case. Concerning the general adult population, no differences in the related caloric intake of elders were noticed. Differences were instead evident when foods were divided into subclasses. Elderly populations consume fruit and fruit products, but they drink less fruit and vegetable juices and nectars. In conclusion, elderlies’ fruit and vegetable consumption showed a peculiar pattern with respect to the general adult population, whose recognition could be helpful to address tailored policies. Constantly updated studies, including all the lifespan ages, are warranted to design tailored effective public health interventions. View Full-Text
Keywords: nutrition; fruit; vegetables; non-communicable disease; elders; policies nutrition; fruit; vegetables; non-communicable disease; elders; policies
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Azzolina, D.; Vedovelli, L.; Gallipoli, S.; French, M.; Ghidina, M.; Lamprecht, M.; Tsiountsioura, M.; Lorenzoni, G.; Gregori, D. Nutrients and Caloric Intake Associated with Fruits, Vegetables, and Legumes in the Elderly European Population. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2746.

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