Living situations associated with poor dietary intake among healthy japanese elderly: The ohasama study

Megumi Tsubota-Utsugi, M. Kikuya, M. Satoh, R. Inoue, M. Hosaka, H. Metoki, T. Hirose, K. Asayama, Y. Imai, T. Ohkubo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Rapid increases in life expectancy have led to concurrent increases in the number of elderly people living alone or those forced to change living situations. Previous studies have found that poor dietary intake was common in elderly people living alone. However, there have been few studies about the dietary intake in elderly people living in other situations, particularly those living with family other than a spouse (nonspouse family), which is common in Japan. Objective: To examine the differences in dietary intake by different living situations in elderly Japanese people. We analyzed the data of 1542 healthy residents in the town of Ohasama aged 60 years and over who had completed self-administered questionnaires. Methods: The dietary intake was measured using a validated 141-item food frequency questionnaire. Multiple regression models with robust (White-corrected) standard errors were individually fitted for nutrients and foods by living situation. Results: In men, although the presence of other family was correlated with significantly lower intake of protein-related foods, e.g., legumes, fish and shellfish, and dairy products, these declines were more serious in men living with nonspouse family. Conversely, in men living alone the intake of fruits and vegetables was significantly lower. In women, lower intakes of fruit and protein-related foods were significantly more common in participants living with nonspouse family than those living with only a spouse. Conclusion: These findings revealed that elderly people living alone as well as those living with family other than a spouse had poor dietary intake, suggesting that strategies to improve food choices and skills for food preparation could promote of healthy eating in elderly Japanese people.Key

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-382
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 1


  • Japanese
  • Living alone
  • dietary intake
  • elderly
  • gender difference
  • living with family other than a spouse (nonspouse family)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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