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BMJ Open. 2019 Jun 29;9(6):e023548. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023548.

Multiple factor analysis of eating patterns to detect groups at risk of malnutrition among home-dwelling older subjects in 2015.

Author information

1
Department of epidemiological surveillance, French Armed Forces Centre for Epidemiology and Public Health (CESPA), Marseille, France.
2
Department of clinical research, Fondation Korian pour le bien vieillir Paris, France.
3
Department of Geriatrics and Internal Medicine, Reims University Hospital, Reims, France.
4
Faculty of Medicine, University of Reims Champagne Ardennes, Reims, France.
5
Hospital of Troyes, Information and Medical Assessment Unit, Troyes, France.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We aimed to describe eating patterns among home-dwelling older subjects to establish typologies of eaters at higher or lower risk of malnutrition.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study between June and September 2015 using a standardised questionnaire. The questionnaire was given to home-help employees (responsible for delivering meals to home-dwelling older persons and helping them to eat). The employees were asked to complete the questionnaire three times during the same week, for the same older adults, in order to identify the totality of their food intake.

SETTING:

Registered customers of the home meal delivery company 'Azaé' (France).

PARTICIPANTS:

605 older home-dwelling persons were randomly selected among customers served by the home meal delivery company.

OUTCOMES:

Multiple factor analysis was used to understand the different modes of food consumption and to establish eating profiles. Hierarchical classification was performed to construct eating profiles corresponding to the dietary habits of the respondents.

RESULTS:

Average age of the older adults was 85.3 years; 73.5% were women. Overall, 59% of participants reported that they ate out of habit, while 33.7% said they ate for pleasure. We identified four different groups of eaters, at varying levels of risk for malnutrition. Individuals in group 4 had the highest food intake in terms of quantity; and were less dependent than individuals in group 1 (p=0.05); group 1 was at highest risk of malnutrition.

CONCLUSION:

Improved understanding of eating habits can help detect risky behaviours and help caregivers to promote better nutrition among home-dwelling older subjects.

KEYWORDS:

elderly; home-dwelling; multiple factor analysis; nutrition

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