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Cien Saude Colet. 2013 Feb;18(2):377-84.

[Assessment of the diets of elderly people in a city in São Paulo state: application of the Healthy Eating Index].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Departamento de Enfermagem, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Estadual de São Paulo, Brazil.


The scope of this paper was to evaluate the quality of the diet of the elderly in the city of Avaré, São Paulo state, using the Healthy Eating Index (HEI). A cross-sectional population-based study was conducted by home interviews. The sample consisted of 73 individuals, randomly selected among elderly people from the public health system in the city. Food consumption was measured by 3 24-hour recalls. The HEI adapted to the Brazilian population was applied for evaluation purposes. It is believed that this study is the first in Brazil to apply the HEI using 3 surveys of the 24-hour recall type among the elderly population. This methodology was chosen because, as described in the literature, a single day does not accurately reflect the usual intake of an individual due to the high interpersonal variance in consumption. It was found that 32.9% of elderly people were on a poor quality diet, 60.3% needed adjustments and 6.8% had a good quality diet. The conclusion that can be drawn is that the elderly population studied need to improve their diet, which emphasizes the importance of policies geared to encouraging healthy eating in old age.

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