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J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 1996 Jun;42(3):241-8.

Energy and nutrient intakes of Okinawan centenarians.

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Research Center of Comprehensive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.


Energy and nutrient requirements of younger people have been well studied, unlike that of centenarians. The average life span of the Japanese is the longest in the world, and the population of the very aged is rapidly growing. In addition, the average life span of Okinawan people is the longest in all of Japan. Their food habits also differ from other parts of Japan. To obtain basic dietary information, we surveyed 21 centenarians in Okinawa (17 women and 4 men). The dietary survey was done by one 24 h recall method, as was done for centenarians living throughout Japan (3). The energy intake of the Okinawan centenarians living at home was about 1,100 kcal/day for both sexes, which was similar to that of centenarians throughout Japan. Energy, some nutrient intakes and food consumption pattern (in terms of food groups) were different from those of the centenarians throughout Japan. We also measured their heights, weights, hematological values and activities of daily living (ADL). Comparison between the nutrient intakes and the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) estimated for the centenarians showed that the estimated RDA of energy for the Okinawan centenarians might be less than their actual intakes.

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