Selected demographic factors and their effect on the nutrient intake of the elderly assessed in HANES I

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The influence of selected demographic variables on the kilocalorie and nutrient intake of Americans over fifty-nine years of age assessed in HANES I was analyzed. A retrospective study design was used. Data on sex, race, poverty level (using PIR as the standard), number of people in the household, education, number and type of household resources, and nutrient and kilocalorie intakes were taken from the HANES I data tapes. Chi square analysis were used to determine if relationships existed between the kilocalorie and nutrient intake and the variables selected.

The results indicate that race, sex, and poverty level were the most predictive of nutrient intake. Males, white individuals, and those above poverty generally had a greater percentage of individuals meeting at least sixty-seven percent of the HANES I standards for kilocalories and the assessed nutrients. The other demographic variables influenced intakes of some of the nutrients, but no distinct patterns emerged. Large percentages of these individuals were found to be below sixty-seven percent of the HANES I standards as well as above one hundred percent of the HANES I standards.