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Meals and energy intake among elderly women – an analysis of qualitative and quantitative dietary assessment methods

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The objective of this study was to analyse whether a qualitative method, in relation to traditional dietary assessment methods, was adequate to establish sufficient energy intake and energy content in separate meals in a population of elderly women. Methods:

One hundred and thirty-five elderly women, aged 63–88 years, living at home from three communities in mid-eastern Sweden participated in the present study. The quantitative methods used were a combination of repeated 24-h recall and a 3-day estimated food diary. The qualitative method used was the Food-Based Classification of Eating episodes model (FBCE). Results:

The mean intake of energy estimated by the 5-day registration was 6.8 ± 1.9 MJ. The total number of eating events was 5.22 ± 1.04 per day. On a group level, FBCE was useful to describe the diet among a group of elderly women; however, on an individual level, some complete meals were low or very low in energy, due to small portion sizes. Conclusion:

The main conclusion was that a qualitative method, such as FBCE, must be supplemented with a dietary assessment method giving the energy intake to ensure that it is sufficient, especially when studying groups at risk for malnutrition.

Keywords: dietary assessment methods; elderly women; energy intake; meal quality

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Domestic Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden, 2: Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden

Publication date: 2001-12-01

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