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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004 Feb;58(2):302-11.

Population dietary habits and physical activity modification with age.

Author information

1
Lipids and Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit, Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica, IMIM, Barcelona, Spain. hschroeder@imim.es

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of the present study was to analyse the relation between age and both dietary habits and leisure-time physical activity, and to determine nutrient inadequacy of aged groups in our population.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study.

SETTING:

A random sample of the 25-74-y-old population of Gerona, Spain.

SUBJECTS:

A total of 838 men and 910 women were selected from among the general population according to the 1991 census.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Analysis of dietary habits, including amount and type of alcohol consumption, and detailed evaluation of leisure-time physical activity.

RESULTS:

Nutrient densities of carbohydrates, vitamin B(1), vitamin B(12), vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, potassium, iron, magnesium, copper, and dietary fiber increased significantly (P<0.05) with age in both genders, whereas an inverse trend was observed for total fat, saturated fatty acids, cholesterol, and sodium. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed a direct association of healthy dietary habits, characterized through a composite dietary score, with age after adjusting for several confounders both in men and women (P<0.001). This score was composed of folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, dietary fibre, cholesterol, saturated fatty acids, and sodium. In all, 29 and 10% of male and female subjects aged 65-74 y, respectively, reported inadequate intakes of six or more of 16 nutrients. Total leisure-time physical activity increased with age in men (P<0.002), and was not different among female age groups.

CONCLUSION:

Dietary behaviours and levels of physical activity spent during leisure time indicate a healthy lifestyle of the aged men and women in the present population. Nutrient inadequacy observed in some aged men and women, however, deserves particular intervention of health-care programmes for this growing part of our society.

PMID:
14749751
DOI:
10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601782
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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