J Nutr Health.  2021 Feb;54(1):39-53. 10.4163/jnh.2021.54.1.39.

Comparison of the health and nutritional status of Korean elderly considering the household income level, using the 2018 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Food and Nutrition, Honam University, Gwangju 62399, Korea

Abstract

Purpose
This study examined the dietary behavior, health status and nutrient intake by considering the level of household income of elderly people using data obtained from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Survey (KNHANES VII) 2018.
Methods
The study subjects were 1,355 elderly people over 65 years old (558 men, 797 women). Based on their household income, participants were classified into three groups: low-income, middle-income, and high-income. The variables consisted of general characteristics, dietary behavior, health status, health related behavior, and dietary intakes. Dietary data were estimated by the 24-hour dietary recall.
Results
In men, the low-income group encompassed older, less educated, less employed, and living with family of first generation. However, in women, there were no differences in employment by the level of income, and women living alone had lower income than subjects living with family. Elderly men in the high-income group had a significantly higher level of nutrient intake (energy, protein, fat, phosphorous, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C). Men in the low-income group consumed a significantly lower intake of fruits, seaweeds and eggs, including total food. Women in the low-income group had significantly less intake of protein, fat, calcium, phosphorous, iron, vitamin A, riboflavin, and niacin whereas women in the high-income group had significantly higher intake of sugar & sweet, eggs, and beverages, including total food.
Conclusion
These results suggest that the level of household income is an important factor that influences food and nutrient intake in the Korean elderly. The socioeconomic status needs to be considered differently among elderly men and women when implementing food assistant programs and designing nutrition education programs.

Keyword

household income; Korean elderly; health status; food and nutrient intake
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