Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2006
Publication Date: 7/15/2006
Citation: Bowman, S.A. 2006. A comparison of economic and nutritional status of older adults based on household food security status. [Abstract]. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 38(4):S45.
Technical Abstract: The older-adult (ages 65 years and over) population is expected to increase from the current 12 percent to 20 percent in 2030. Their well-being is important to their families, healthcare providers, nutritionists, and policy makers. The objective of the study was to assess the socio-economic and nutritional status of older adults living in food secure (n=1,936) and not-fully-food-secure (n=280) households. The study used the National Health Examination and Nutrition Survey 1999-2002 data. A priori, alpha=0.05 level of significance was used in mean comparisons. There were 42 percent males and 58 percent females in the study. About 8 percent in each gender lived in not-fully-food-secure households. More of them lived in apartments (24% vs. 12%); rented their homes (37% vs. 15%); and lived in households with income below 131 percent of poverty (68% vs. 23%). Among race-ethnic groups, 29 percent of Hispanics, 16 percent of African Americans, and 5 percent of non-Hispanic whites in the sample lived in not-fully-food-secure households. The adults living in not-fully-food-secure households consumed 273 kilocalories of less energy (1,453 kilocalories vs. 1,726 kilocalories) than others. They also consumed low amounts of total fat, saturated fat, and many micronutrients. The micronutrient-density of their diet was low. However, both groups obtained 33 percent of total calories from total fat and 10.5 percent of total calories from saturated fat. Efforts to increase food assistance and food access among older adults should be a high priority for policy makers. Nutritionist should provide strategies on how to chose inexpensive nutritious foods.