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J Nutr Health Aging. 2010 Apr;14(4):259-64.

Ten-year trends in dietary intake, health status and mortality rates in free-living elderly people.

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Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Division of Geriatrics, University of Padua, Italy.



To explore the trends of food preferences and nutrient intake over a 10-year follow-up in a group of successfully aging elderly.


Longitudinal study.


City of Padua, Italy.


Randomly stratified sample of 97 men and 94 women born between 1913 and 1918.


The study involved a dietary assessment conducted in 1988/89 and repeated in 1999. Data were collected by means of a modified validated dietary history.


Nutrient and energy intake remained fairly stable over a decade, despite changes in eating habits, with a higher intake of sweets and a lower consumption of soft drinks in both genders. All individuals significantly increased their daily intake of water.


Despite changes in eating habits, no significant decline in total energy and macronutrient intake was recorded in a decade in our elderly. The increased daily consumption of water and decreased use of soft drinks would suggest that these people were still receptive to nutritional advice even in very old age, while the increase in their sweet-eating might be because aging itself increases a person's sweet tooth, and this could be regarded as an age-related effect on dietary habits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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