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Nutritional Status of Older Adults in Urban Jamaica


Zohoori, Namvar; Jackson, Maria-Rosario; Wilks, Rainford J.; Walker, S.; & Forrester, Terrence (2003). Nutritional Status of Older Adults in Urban Jamaica. West Indian Medical Journal, 52(2), 111-117.


The aim of the study was to determine the energy intake and nutritional status of a sample of Jamaican adults, and to compare them among different age groups. Measured height and weight data from a survey in Spanish Town, Jamaica, consisting of 2100 adults aged 25-74 years, with 22 per cent over age 60 years, were used to calculate body mass index (BMI). Using BMI cut-off points of 20 and 27, the prevalence of underweight and overweight, respectively, were determined for different age groups. Energy intake was calculated from a food frequency questionnaire from 967 of the respondents. Among males, mean daily energy intake declined from a high of 3681 kcal (15,401 kJ) for 25-29 year-olds, to a low of 2227 kcal (9318 kJ) for those aged 70-74 years. Corresponding numbers among females were 2935 kcal (12,280 kJ) and 1844 kcal (7715 kJ), respectively. Among those aged 65-74 years, 26.9 per cent of males and 50 per cent of females report daily energy intakes of less than 1600 kcal (6694 kJ) (below the lowest recommended dietary allowance (RDA)), compared to 4.5 and 13.7 per cent of males and females aged 25-34 years. While there are moderate declines in the prevalence of overweight, the prevalence of male underweight increased from 4 per cent among 50-54 year-olds to over 35 per cent among those 65 years and older; and among females the corresponding numbers are from 2 per cent to 10 per cent. All trends with age were significant (p < 0.005). There are significant declines in energy intake, and alarming increases in the prevalence of underweight with increasing age among males. These results are cause for concern and further research in this area is warranted.

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

West Indian Medical Journal


Zohoori, Namvar
Jackson, Maria-Rosario
Wilks, Rainford J.
Walker, S.
Forrester, Terrence