J Korean Diet Assoc.  2008 Nov;14(4):337-350.

Nutritional Status and Dietary Quality in the Low-income Elderly Residing at Home or in Health Care Facilities

  • 1Department of Food & Nutrition, Kangwon National University, Gangwon, Korea. mhkim1129@kangwon.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Food & Nutrition, Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul 140-742, Korea.


The principal objective of this study was to assess the nutritional status and dietary quality in low-income elderly individuals residing at home (LH) or in health care facilities (LHCF) with dietitian. This study was conducted via anthropometric measurements, questionnaire interviews, and dietary surveys using a 24 hr recall method with 120 low-income elderly individuals (LHCF=46, LH=74). The average ages of the LH and LHCF group were 76.3 years and 78.6 years, respectively. The LH group evidenced a significantly higher frequency of skipping meals than the LHCF group. The average energy intakes of the LHCF and LH group were 1921.0 kcal and 1443.9 kcal, with a significant difference (p<0.001). Most of the nutrient intake and intake rates for recommended intake were significantly higher among the LHCF group as compared with the LH group. The LHCF group showed significantly higher values for the nutrient adequacy ratio (NAR), the mean adequacy ratio (MAR), nutrient density (ND), and the index of nutritional quality (INQ) by dietary qualitative estimation than in the LH group. The Korean diet diversity scores (KDDS) were 3.66 for LH group and 4.93 for the LHCF group, thus were significantly higher in the LHCF group than in the LH group. The results of the present study demonstrate that the LH group appeared to experience more dietary problems than the LHCF group. It was suggested that nutritional education is needed for low-income elderly individuals living at home, in order for them to learn proper dietary management. This can be achieved via educational programs in social welfare institutions, incentives toward employment as a dietitian, and implementation of community-based support.


nutritional status; dietary quality; low-income elderly; health care facility
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