Diet Quality of Urban Older Adults Age 60 to 99 Years: The Cardiovascular Health of Seniors and Built Environment Study

Andrea L. Deierlein, Kimberly B. Morland, Kathleen Scanlin, Sally Wong, Arlene Spark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There are few studies that evaluate dietary intakes and predictors of diet quality in older adults. The objectives of this study were to describe nutrient intakes and examine associations between demographic, economic, behavioral, social environment, and health status factors and diet quality. Cross-sectional data were from black, white, and Hispanic adults, age 60 to 99 years, living independently in New York City and participating in the Cardiovascular Health of Seniors and the Built Environment Study, 2009-2011 (n=1,306). Multivariable log-linear regression estimated associations between selected factors and good diet quality, defined as a Healthy Eating Index score more than 80 (based on the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans [HEI-2005]). Dietary intakes were similar for men and women; intakes of energy, fiber, and the majority of micronutrients were less than recommendations, whereas intakes of fats, added sugar, and sodium were within the upper range or exceeded recommendations. Hispanic ethnicity (relative risk [RR]=1.37; 95% CI 1.07 to 1.75), energy intake <~1,500 kcal/day (RR=1.93; 95% CI, 1.37 to 2.71), adherence to a special diet (RR=1.23; 95% CI: 1.02 to 1.50), purchasing food at supermarkets at least once/week (RR=1.34; 95% CI, 1.04 to1.74), and being married/living with a partner (RR=1.37; 95% CI, 1.10 to 1.71) were positively associated with HEI-2005 score more than 80. Consuming at least one restaurant meal/day was negatively associated with HEI-2005 score more than 80 (RR=0.69; 95%CI, 0.50-0.94). These findings identify specific groups of older adults, such as blacks or those who live alone, who may benefit from dietary interventions, as well as specific modifiable behaviors among older adults, such as eating restaurant meals or shopping at supermarkets, which may be targeted through interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-287
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Dietary quality
  • Healthy Eating Index
  • Nutrient intake
  • Older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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