The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 228–233 | Cite as

Sexually dimorphic patterns of nutritional intake and eating behaviors in community-dwelling older adults with normal and slow gait speed

  • Debra L. Waters
  • S. J. Wayne
  • S. Andrieu
  • M. Cesari
  • D. T. Villareal
  • P. Garry
  • B. Vellas



Assess sex-specific nutritional intake and dietary habits of independently living older adults with normal and slow gait speeds.


New Mexico Aging Process Study, cross-sectional, secondary data analysis.


Albuquerque, New Mexico USA.


Three-hundred fifteen adults 60 years and older (194 women and 121 men).


Gait speed test, 3-day diet records, Mini-Mental State Examination, and body mass index.


Slow gait speed was associated with lower total calories (−154 kcal/day) and zinc (1mg/day) (.05 < p <.1). Slower men consumed less protein (−4.1g/day), calcium (−140mg), fiber (-2.8g/day) and iron (−2.5mg/day) (p<.05). Slower women consumed less, protein (−5.5g/day), carbohydrate (−19.1g/day), fiber (−2.7gm/day), vitamin C (−18.4mg/day) and higher fat intake (p=0.03). Slower women snacked less, had trouble chewing/biting, and lived alone (p=.04). Slower men were less likely to snack.


We found sex-specific nutritional differences associated with gait speed. Those presenting with slow gait speed may need encouragement to increase meat and whole grain breads/cereal. Those with trouble eating should be advised on adapting diet to maintain adequate nutrition and encouraged on regular snacking to achieve higher nutrient intake. Prospective and randomized controlled studies are needed to confirm these findings and provide further evidence for putting these suggestions into practice.

Key words

Gait speed nutrition eating habits frailty 


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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer-Verlag France 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Debra L. Waters
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • S. J. Wayne
    • 1
  • S. Andrieu
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • M. Cesari
    • 5
  • D. T. Villareal
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. Garry
    • 1
  • B. Vellas
    • 5
  1. 1.University of New Mexico School of MedicineAlbuquerqueUSA
  2. 2.New Mexico VA Health Care SystemSection of GeriatricsAlbuquerqueUSA
  3. 3.Dunedin School of MedicineUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  4. 4.INSERM UMR 1027ToulouseFrance
  5. 5.University Toulouse IIIToulouseFrance
  6. 6.Department of HealthCHU de ToulouseFrance

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