AGE
, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 333-341
Date: 21 Nov 2006

Dietary differences between centenarians residing in communities and in skilled nursing facilities: the Georgia Centenarian Study

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the dietary habits among centenarians residing in community settings (n=105) and in skilled nursing facilities (n=139). The sample was a population-based multi-ethnic sample of adults aged 98 years and older (N=244) from northern Georgia in the US. Compared to centenarians in skilled nursing facilities, those residing in the community were more than twice as likely to be able to eat without help and to receive most of their nourishment from typical foods, but they had a lower frequency of intake of all of the food groups examined, including dairy, meat, poultry and fish, eggs, green vegetables, orange/yellow vegetables, citrus fruit or juice, non-citrus fruit or juice, and oral liquid supplements. A food summary score was created (the sum of the meeting recommendations for five food groups). In multiple regression analyses, the food summary scores were positively associated with residing in a nursing facility and negatively associated with eating without help and receiving most nourishment from typical foods. These data suggest that centenarians residing in communities may have limited access to foods that are known to provide nutrients essential to health and well-being. Also, centenarians who are able to eat without help and/or who eat mainly typical foods may have inadequate intakes of recommended food groups. Given the essential role of foods and nutrition to health and well-being throughout life, these findings require further exploration through the detailed dietary analyses of centenarians living in various settings.

Additional authors include S. M. Jazwinski, R. C. Green, M. Gearing, W. R. Markesbery, J. L. Woodard, J. S. Tenover, I. C. Siegler, P. Martin, M. MacDonald, C. Rott, W. L. Rodgers, and J. Arnold.