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High prevalence of undernutrition and low dietary diversity in institutionalised elderly living in Sri Lanka

  • Kumari M Rathnayake (a1) (a2), MPPM Wimalathunga (a1), Michelle Weech (a2), Kim G Jackson (a2) and Julie A Lovegrove (a2)...

Abstract

Objective

The present study aimed to assess nutritional status, dietary diversity and lifestyle risk factors associated with undernutrition in an institutionalised Sri Lankan elderly population.

Design

The study was of cross-sectional design followed by a stratified sampling method.

Setting

Twelve homes for the elderly recruited from six provinces in Sri Lanka.

Subjects

A total of 311 institutionalised elderly aged ≥60 years.

Results

The mean age of the study population was 75 (sd 8) years. Prevalence of undernutrition was 30 %. Mean food variety score, dietary diversity score and dietary serving score of the study population were 8·7 (sd 1·5), 7·3 (sd 1·2) and 10·9 (sd 2·0), respectively. Mean daily intakes of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs and pulses and dairy portions were below the national recommendations, whereas the mean consumption of sugar exceeded the national recommendation. Only the mean intake of starch was within the recommendation. Food allergies (OR=8·0; 95 % CI 3·9, 16·2), skipping meals (OR=3·8; 95 % CI 2·0, 7·5) and lack of leisure activities (OR=3·1; 95 % CI 1·5, 6·7) significantly increased the risk of undernutrition, whereas the use of dentures decreased the risk (OR=0·20; 95 % CI 0·06, 0·69).

Conclusions

High prevalence of undernutrition and low dietary diversity were observed in an institutionalised elderly Sri Lankan population. Therefore, there is an urgent need to implement nutrition interventions as part of geriatric care to reduce undernutrition and improve the diets of the institutionalised elderly population in Sri Lanka.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Email rldk_rathnayake@yahoo.com

References

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Keywords

High prevalence of undernutrition and low dietary diversity in institutionalised elderly living in Sri Lanka

  • Kumari M Rathnayake (a1) (a2), MPPM Wimalathunga (a1), Michelle Weech (a2), Kim G Jackson (a2) and Julie A Lovegrove (a2)...

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