Diet quality of middle age and older women from Primorsko-Goranska County evaluated by healthy eating index and association with body mass index
Accorded dietary habits provide adequate nutrient intakes, especially important for quality aging. Adequate nutrition for older persons has vital influence on maintaining good health and social functioning. Therefore, using simple tool for evaluation of diet of older population in relation to overweight and obesity is of public health importance. Among many factor that influence quality of aging has obesity, where in Croatia the prevalence of obesity is greater in older women than men. Our aim
... than men. Our aim was to evaluate diet quality of middle age and older women from Primorsko-Goranska County by Healthy Eating Index (HEI) and to see the association of HEI to overweight and obesity. Diet quality of 124 women with average age 59.91 +/- 5.31 years was graded with 10 component HEI score, ranging from 0 to 100, where HEI score less than 51 implies "poor" diet. Overweight and obesity was classified according to WHO classification. The majority of women had diet that "needs improvement" (66.1%), and only 3.2% had "good" diet. Older women had better HEI score than middle-aged women, while overweight was statistically significant positively related to better HEI score (P = 0.26, p = 0.048). Older women better scored for meat, dairy, cholesterol and dietary variety. "Poor" diet mostly had women with normal weight and middle-aged. Age did not influenced overall HEI score, neither its components. Obese women had lower achievements for almost all recommended HEI components. Women having "poor" diet quality could raise a chance for overweight and obesity for almost two times ([OR] = 1.67, 95% [CI] = 1.072-2.59, p = 0.023; [OR] = 1.51, 95% [CI] = 1.08-2.10, p = 0.015, respectively). The provided results showed that with age, women tended to have better diet. These could be because of that with aging are higher disease incidences that essentially need diet improvements; so older women tended to improve their diet to reduce disease discomforts. Being obese influenced the diet quality of our sample of women, therefore, for quality aging, the importance of public health nutrition programs are strongly needed. HEI score is a good assessment for diet quality, but further investigation of influence on other sociodemographic and health characteristics is required.