Korean J Community Nutr.  1997 Aug;2(3):376-387.

Strategies to Improve Nutrition in the Elderly : An Analysis of Health Related Factors and the Nutritional Risk Index of the Elderly

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Food and Nutrition, The University of Suwon,
  • 2Suwon Kwonsun-Gu Public Health Center, Suwon, Korea.

Abstract

The elderly are the most rapidly growing segment of the population in Korea and the largest consumers of expensive medical care. It is reasonable to believe that improving the nutritional status would be beneficial to reducing morbidity and to improving the quality of their lives. This study was conducted to assess the health status and the Nutritional Risk Index of the elderly, and to provide the basic data for the Elderly Nutrition Improvement Program at the Public Health Center. One hundred and forty seven(76 males. 71 females) aged 60 years and over living in Suwon, were assessed with anthropometric measurements, body fat analysis, blood pressure measurements, and a set of about health and other related variables. Over half of them had less than a junior middle school education and were considered low income. The percentage of overweight and obese subjects was 33% by the BMI(Body Mass Index), and the prevalence of hypertension was 28%(males) and 31%(females). They had a lot of self-recognized health problems, the male elderly complained about more than the female elderly. In the case of psychological health status, however, the female elderly showed a higher proportions of depression than the male elderly(p<0.05). In social health status, the elderly had good relationships with friends and collegues, whereas they had poor relationships with their families. They had many nutritional risk factors, and smoking was the most prevalent risk factor for the male elderly and anemia was for the female elderly. The results of this study suggest that Elderly Nutrition Improvement Programs should be planned that can be easily followed. It would be helpful to design a program focusing on individual phychological and social health status, this would increase the efficiency of the program.

Keyword

elderly nutrition improvement program; public health center; health statue; nutritional risk index
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