Dietary Behaviors of Elderly People Residing in Central Iran: A Preliminary Report of Yazd Health Study

Original Article, Davood Bahrami, Masoud Mirzaei, Amin Salehi-Abargouei
2016 Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences   unpublished
Food habits play important roles in maintaining physical and mental health and preventing chronic illnesses in the elderly. The aim of the present study was to investigate dietary behaviors of elderly people residing in Yazd city which is located in central Iran. Methods: The present analysis was conducted on 1684 participants entered to Yazd Health Study aged over 60 years during 2014-2015. Demographic characteristics, health status, physical activity, economic status, education and dietary
more » ... tion and dietary behaviors were collected by using a validated questionnaire. Results: Our analysis revealed that only 1.2% of the elderly consumed more than two servings of dairy per day. Furthermore only 3 and 9.8 percent of elders consumed more than three servings/day of vegetables and fruits, respectively. The study also showed that 22.9% ate more than five servings of sugar per day, 22.5% took more than four units of legumes weekly, 56.1% ate two to three servings of poultry per week, 77% reported eating fast foods for at least once a week, 47.8% consumed canned foods less than once a week of and 86.3% reported taking breakfast for at least five times a week. For cooking 18.9% of elderly still use hydrogenated vegetable oils, 52.8% of the elderly did not separate visible fats from red meat before cooking, 65.8% chose high-fat dairy and 24% of older people reported using frying and grilling as their primary cooking method. Our findings also suggest that dietary behavior is different between elder men and women. Conclusion: Unhealthy dietary habits, including low vegetables, fruits and dairy products intake, are highly prevalent among elderly people residing in Yazd. Community based interventions targeting this age group, in order to improve their dietary intake, are highly recommended.