Unidentified under-nutrition: dietary intake and anthropometric indices in a residential care home population
Article first published online: 8 SEP 2006
Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Volume 19, Issue 5, pages 343–347, October 2006
How to Cite
Leslie, W. S., Lean, M. E. J., Woodward, M., Wallace, F. A. and Hankey, C. R. (2006), Unidentified under-nutrition: dietary intake and anthropometric indices in a residential care home population. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 19: 343–347. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-277X.2006.00719.x
- Issue published online: 8 SEP 2006
- Article first published online: 8 SEP 2006
- nutritional status;
- residential care
Background Research investigating the nutritional status of older people in residential care homes is scant.
Objective To determine the anthropometric measures and dietary intakes of older people in this setting as a basis for future intervention studies.
Methods Dietary intake was assessed using 3-day-weighed food records, nutritional status was evaluated using anthropometric measurements (knee height to predict standing height, and body weight). Catering provision was assessed using a computer-based menu assessment tool (CORA).
Results Mean body mass index (BMI) for the 34 participants was 22.2 kg m2 (range 14.5–34.4). Six participants (17.6%) had a BMI ≤18.5 kg m2 with a further seven identified as having a BMI >18.5 but <20 kg m2. Only two subjects with BMI <18.5 kg m2 were prescribed oral supplements. In both men and women, recorded mean energy intakes were below current estimated average requirements by 24% and 22% respectively.
Conclusion Despite adequate food provision, under-nutrition was prevalent and, in the majority of cases, unidentified and untreated. A larger study is warranted to investigate whether improved nutritional intake is achievable through dietary modification. These data indicate that a sample size of around 60, with 90% power and at the 5% significance level, is required to detect a difference of 1674 kJ between groups of residents in an intervention study following a cluster randomized design.