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J Am Diet Assoc. 1999 May;99(5):572-82.

Comparison of energy and nutrient sources of elderly Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites in New Mexico.

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Clinical Nutrition Program, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, USA.



Identification and comparison of frequently consumed foods and important food sources of energy, protein, total fat, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B-6, folate, and calcium of elderly Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites.


Dietary intake data were collected using a modified Health Habits and History Questionnaire (a food frequency questionnaire) for 735 subjects who participated in the New Mexico Elder Health Survey.


The sample consisted of 330 Hispanics (176 men and 154 women) and 405 non-Hispanic whites (214 men and 191 women) between the ages of 65 and 96 years. Subjects were those with food frequency data among 883 participants who completed the clinical visit of the New Mexico Elder Health Survey.


Results show the top-ranked frequently consumed foods by gender and ethnicity and top-ranked food sources of energy and 8 nutrients. Regional foods were important sources of nutrients in the diets of both Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites, however, more so for the Hispanics. Chile sauces were notable sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate among both groups. Both ethnic groups demonstrated selection of low-fat and skim milk and moderation in consumption of red meat.


These data will be useful for designing nutrition education programs, for studying the relationship between diet and disease among elderly Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites, and for designing assessment instruments for the elderly and other ethnic populations.

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