Academic journal article Human Ecology

Researchers Look at Food Insecurity in the Elderly. (Brief Reports: Nutritional Sciences)

Academic journal article Human Ecology

Researchers Look at Food Insecurity in the Elderly. (Brief Reports: Nutritional Sciences)

Article excerpt

MANY ELDERLY AMERICANS do not get enough to eat simply because they lack the mobility to prepare their own meals. Others lack the funds to purchase nutritionally adequate meals.

As a result of such problems, the health and nutritional status of many older Americans is being significantly impaired, according to several new studies from the Division of Nutritional Sciences.

In three published studies, Edward Frongillo, associate professor of public nutrition at Cornell, and Jung Sun Lee, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh who is finishing up her Cornell Ph.D., explored elderly Americans' problems in getting enough to eat and the assistance provided by food programs. Unlike most research on so-called food insecurity (defined as not getting enough to eat, occasionally or often), which mainly has looked at families with young children, Frangillo and Lee studied the vulnerable elderly population.

Using national and state data on more than 6,600 adults, ages 60 and older, from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988-94) and the Nutrition Survey of the Elderly in New York State (1994), the researchers found that factors such as poverty, low education, and social isolation are related to inadequate purchasing power for a nutritious diet. The researchers also found that functional impairments, such as serious disease or disability, greatly increase the risk of not always having enough to eat.

"The findings suggest that elderly persons with a functional impairment, even when they have plenty of food in the house and social support available, are at a much higher risk for food insecurity than those without impairments," says Frongillo. The second study (available at www.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/131/5/1503), which used data from the same samples, found that older people, whether or not they have adequate resources, tend to consume less than the recommended dietary allowance for calories and seven nutrients. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.