Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.48(3) > 1081395

J Nutr Health. 2015 Jun;48(3):277-288. Korean.
Published online June 30, 2015.
© 2015 The Korean Nutrition Society
Comparative analysis of food intake according to the family type of elderly women in Seoul area
Yeon Joo Lee,1 Min Kyung Kwon,1 Hee Joon Baek,2 and Sang Sun Lee1
1Department of Food and Nutrition, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, Korea.
2Department of Nutrition, Hanyang University Seoul Hospital, Seoul 133-792, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-2-2220-1206, Email:
Received February 10, 2015; Revised March 18, 2015; Accepted May 12, 2015.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



As the rate of senior citizens living alone increases in the current aging society, there is much concern regarding the health and nutritional intake of solitary senior citizens. Therefore, this study compared the nutritional intake of senior citizens according to their family type.


In July and August of 2011, two senior citizen welfare centers in Seoul were visited to survey 267 elderly women. Excluding 54 subjects for which the data were incomplete, information from 213 subjects was analyzed. The subjects were divided into three family types, living alone (LA, n = 74), living with spouse (LS, n = 78), and living with children (LC, n = 61).


The mean age of the LA group was the highest, while the mean age of the LS group was the lowest (p < 0.001) , and WHR of the LC group was the highest (p = 0.049). Income was the highest in the LS group (p < 0.001). Frequency of eating out was the lowest in the LA group (p = 0.031). By Duncan's multiple analysis, the amounts of energy intake, vegetable protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, Vit D, Vit E, Vit B2, niacin, Vit B6, Vit B12, and cholesterol were significantly higher in the LS group compared with the LA or LC group (p < 0.05). The intakes of calcium, Vit D, Vit B12, and cholesterol were still significantly different among the three groups, even after adjustment for age and monthly income. The LA group ate less fruit and fish than the LS or LC group (p < 0.05). The LA group showed the lowest dietary diversity and the LS group showed the highest diversity (p = 0.014), however, the significance of dietary diversity score among the three groups disappeared after adjustment for age and monthly income.


Elderly women living with spouse were receiving better nutrition than elderly women living alone or living with children. Therefore, solitary elderly women who do not live with their spouse or children should be offered greater opportunities to receive a balanced meal at a congregational kitchen or welfare center. To ensure their healthy diet, it is essential to provide continuous nutrition education with these groups in mind.

Keywords: elderly women; family type; food intake; nutrition


Table 1
General characteristics and anthropometric measurements of the elderly women according to the family type
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Table 2
Eating and life behavior of the elderly women according to the family type
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Table 3
Daily nutrient intakes of the elderly women according to the family type
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Table 4
Comparison of Index of Nutritional Quality (INQ) of the elderly women according to the family type
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Table 5
Assesment of energy nutrients intake of the elderly women using EER and AMDR according to the family type
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Table 6
Distribution of elderly women consumed less than under estimated average requirement (EAR) or adequate intake (AI) of elderly women according to the family type N (%)
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Table 7
Food intakes from each food group of the elderly women according to the family type (g/day)
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Table 8
Korean's Dietary Diversity Score (KDDS) distribution of the elderly according to the family type
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Table 9
Distribution of food group intake pattern (CMVDO) of the elderly according to the family type
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This work was supported by grants from the HYU Institute of Aging Society in 2011.

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