Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2005
Publication Date: July 23, 2005
Citation: Bowman, S.A. 2005. Dietary and weight status of retired Americans. [abstract]. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 37(1):S72-S78.
There is discrepancy in the health status among different races. And as adults age, they are more prone to diet-related health conditions than young adults. The aim of the study was to find out whether differences existed in the dietary, weight, and health status of retired Caucasians and African Americans surveyed in the USDA's 1994-1996 Continuous Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (N=2,084). Seventy-nine percent of the sample was 65 years of age or over. Dietary intakes were compared using regression models adjusting for age, gender, and income. Health and overweight status of the two groups were also compared. Survey design effects and alpha = 0.05 level of significance were used in mean comparisons. Thirty-seven percent of African Americans and 16 percent of Caucasians lived in households with income below 131% of poverty. Significantly more African Americans than Caucasians had diabetes (23% vs. 12%), had high blood pressure (65% vs. 42%), and were overweight (71% vs. 52%). Although the African Americans consumed 148 calories less than Caucasians, both groups had the same total fat intakes. They consumed more total fat and less calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium per 1,000 kilocalories, consumed about 2 ounce less lowfat milk and 25 grams less non-citrus fruits than Caucasians. No differences were seen in the total grains and meat, poultry, and fish intakes between the groups. Dietitians, especially working with low-income African Americans retirees, should address strategies to maintain healthy weight, to reduce fat intakes, and increase calcium intakes.