Snack patterns of older europeans
Sommaire de l'article
OBJECTIVE: To describe the snack consumption of older people from several European towns. Subjects with similar snack patterns are clustered into groups to explore the contribution of snacks to daily energy and micronutrient intake.
DESIGN: Data from the 1993 Survey in Europe on Nutrition and the Elderly: A Concerted Action (SENECA) follow-up study were collected from a random, age-stratified sample of inhabitants of small traditional towns in Europe. Food intake data collected by the 3-day estimated record method were used for grouping snack foods into 15 food groups. From these data daily energy intake and intake of calcium; iron; and vitamins B-1, B-2, B-6, and C were calculated. Additional self-reported data were collected for health status, presence of chronic diseases, and activity level.
SUBJECTS/SETTING: The study population consisted of 379 men and 428 women aged 74 to 79 years and who were inhabitants of the following towns: Haguenau, France; Romans, France; Padua, Italy; Culemborg, The Netherlands; Yverdon, Switzerland; and Marki, Poland.
STATISTICAL ANALYSES: Cluster analysis was used to classify subjects into groups based on similarity in snack patterns.
RESULTS: In general, older people from the various European towns consumed the same snack types. Five distinct snack patterns emerged from our analyses. The large group light snackers had a low snack use and low energy and micronutrient intakes. Alcohol drinkers and dairy snackers had a high snack use and high intakes of energy and several vitamins and minerals. Fruit and vegetable snackers and sweet drinkers often had intake values between the other 3 groups.
APPLICATIONS: Our study indicates the existence of identifiable snack patterns that coincide with different intakes of energy and micronutrients. Especially in countries in which people derive high percentages of energy through snacking, the identification of snack patterns can improve dietary advice, gearing it to personal needs."