Influence of living arrangements on dietary adequacy for U.S. elderly: 1987-88 nationwide food consumption survey

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James M. Eddy, Department Head and Professor (Creator)
Eugene C. Fitzhugh (Contributor)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Research has suggested that elderly people who live with someone have better dietary adequacy, thus illustrating the important role of social interaction. This study evaluated the differences in dietary adequacy between independent and non-independent elderly (age 65 and older). Data were obtained from the National Food Consumption Survey (1987-1988) in which a National sample of individuals completed a three-day food consumption survey. Those who lived alone were classified as independent (n=316) and those who lived with someone were classified as non-independent (n=740) were included in the analysis. An analysis of covariance indicated that independent elderly had significantly lower intakes of calories, total fat, and cholesterol. Independent elderly had a higher intake of vitamins A, E, B6, ascorbic acid, and folacin. Independent elderly had a significantly lower intake of calcium, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium than their non-independent elderly counter parts (p<.005). Overall, this study did not find sufficient evidence that non-independent elderly had better nutritional intake than independent elderly as suggested by earlier studies. These findings may suggest that there is little difference between elderly who live alone compared to elderly that live with someone in terms of overall nutritional adequacy.

Additional Information

Wellness Perspectives: Research, Theory and Practice, 10, 1, 32- 40.
Language: English
Date: 1993
Independent elderly, Non-independent elderly, Dietary adequacy

Email this document to