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A Journal Analysis Of Health And Nutrition Related Issues Of Elderly Individuals, Compared To Those Of Young Children.

1402 words - 6 pages

Nutrition 125, Assignment #33/20/03Journal I: Factors Affecting Nutrient Intake of the ElderlyDietary studies often allow us to determine an adequate, healthy diet which fulfills the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA). They allow us to realize crucial factors which play important roles in our daily intake of nutrients. However, the daily intake of various nutrients varies according to age, especially among the elderly.The number of Americans age 60, and over has increased from about 5 million in 1900, to about 42 million in 1990. Today, the elderly make up roughly 18% of the world population. They also account for 30 percent of all health care expenditures in the United States. Unfortunately, poor nutrition is the primary reason for the high percentage of health concern among the elderly.According to a study conducted by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) 1989-91, there appears to be a number of different factors that directly show cause for the alarming rise of health risk in elderly individuals, linked to nutrition. These factors include, region and degree of Urbanization, socialization, poverty, race, age, gender, as well as education.To begin, the study consisted of individuals 60 years of age or older who were the nominal head of the household. Elderly individuals who were not the head of the household were not taken into consideration for this study purposely, because this would allow the focus to be on those elderly who made the food choices within the household. The determining study consisted of 1,373 women, and 193 men, average age being 71. It was shown clearly that women in the elderly population have the traditional responsibility of preparing food for the household.Each category taken into consideration showed variable, and sometimes definite results. Upon looking at the region and degree of urbanization, the study shows that the geography of elderly individuals does have an impact on nutrient intake. For example, urban elderly residents received lower amounts of iron compared to non urban elderly. The degree of urbanization also shows that elderly living in urban environments have the ability to be exposed to a greater variety of food stores, cultural and economic opportunities, and mass media.The socialization factor did not show a significant effect on nutrient intake for the elderly in this study, although researchers have reported that the elderly may experience a lack of appetite as well as the desire to eat when they are alone.Looking at nutrition in the elderly from an economic view, poverty appeared to play the largest role in a low nutrient intake among the aging, with an exception of vitamin E, calcium, and iron. However, the use of food stamps increases the ability to purchase a healthier range of foods, this particular study found no correspondence to the two factors.The results of race, age, and gender showed the most dramatic results when looking at nutrient intake. Compared to elderly whites, elderly blacks...

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