Article

The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 19-25

Dietary patterns and diet quality among diverse older adults: The university of Alabama at Birmingham study of aging

  • Pao Ying HsiaoAffiliated withDepartment of Nutritional Sciences, The Pennsylvania State UniversityThe Pennsylvania State University Email author 
  • , D. C. MitchellAffiliated withDepartment of Nutritional Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University
  • , D. L. CoffmanAffiliated withThe Methodology Center, The Pennsylvania State University
  • , R. M. AllmanAffiliated withBirmingham/Atlanta VA Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical CenterDivision of Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care, University of Alabama at BirminghamUAB Center for Aging
  • , J. L. LocherAffiliated withUAB Center for AgingUAB Nutrition Obesity Research CenterDepartment of Health Care Organization and Policy, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • , P. SawyerAffiliated withDivision of Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care, University of Alabama at BirminghamUAB Center for Aging
  • , Gordon L. JensenAffiliated withDepartment of Nutritional Sciences, The Pennsylvania State UniversityThe Pennsylvania State University Email author 
  • , T. J. HartmanAffiliated withDepartment of Nutritional Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Objectives

To characterize dietary patterns among a diverse sample of older adults (≥ 65 years).

Design

Cross-sectional.

Setting

Five counties in west central Alabama.

Participants

Community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries (N=416; 76.8 ±5.2 years, 56% female, 39% African American) in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Study of Aging.

Measurements

Dietary data collected via three, unannounced 24-hour dietary recalls was used to identify dietary patterns. Foods were aggregated into 13 groups. Finite mixture modeling (FMM) was used to classify individuals into three dietary patterns. Differences across dietary patterns for nutrient intakes, sociodemographic, and anthropometric measurements were examined using chi-square and general linear models.

Results

Three dietary patterns were derived. A “More healthful” dietary pattern, with relatively higher intakes of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, eggs, nuts, legumes and dairy, was associated with lower energy density, higher quality diets as determined by Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2005 scores and higher intakes of fiber, folate, vitamins C and B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. The “Westernlike” pattern was defined by an intake of starchy vegetables, refined grains, meats, fried poultry and fish, oils and fats and was associated with lower HEI-2005 scores. The “Low produce, high sweets” pattern was characterized by high saturated fat, and low dietary fiber and vitamin C intakes. The strongest predictors of better diet quality were female gender and non-Hispanic white race.

Conclusion

The dietary patterns identified may provide a useful basis on which to base dietary interventions targeted at older adults. Examination of nutrient intakes regardless of the dietary pattern suggests that older adults are not meeting nutrient recommendations and should continue to be encouraged to choose high quality diets.

Key words

Dietary pattern finite mixture modeling older adults