Caloric Intake and Dietary Patterns Are Associated With Onset of Physical Disability and Mortality in a Representative Sample of Older U.S. Adults

Nicholas Bishop , Texas State University
Krystle Zuniga, Texas State University

Our goal was to investigate the association between caloric intake, dietary patterns, and risk of disability onset in a representative sample of older adults. An analytic sample of 3,335 adults age 65 and older were drawn from the 2012-2014 Health and Retirement Study and 2013 Health Care and Nutrition Study. Exploratory factor analysis identified foods commonly consumed together and multinomial logistic regression modeled competing risks of activities of daily living (ADL) disability onset and mortality over a two-year period. Two dietary factors were identified, representing intake of healthy and Western foods. Caloric intake was positively associated with risk of ADL limitation onset but not mortality. Greater consumption of healthy foods reduced the risk of ADL limitation onset and mortality, and unexpectedly, greater intake of Western foods was associated with reduced risk of ADL limitation. These preliminary results suggest a complex relationship between dietary intake and disability and warrant further examination.

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 Presented in Session 6. Health & Mortality & Aging