Dietary intake and anthropometry of Korean elderly people: a literature review

Y.H. Park, C.P.G.M. de Groot, W.A. van Staveren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The health status of elderly people is an important issue in Korea due to the expansion of the elderly population. However, data on their nutritional status are limited. This review aims to give an overview of the dietary intake and anthropometry of Korean elderly people based on studies published, mainly in local journals in Korea. In total 18 studies were reviewed. Mean calcium and vitamin A intakes were inadequate, namely less than 67% of the Korean recommended daily allowances, in all groups of Korean elderly people. The intake of both nutrients was lower in urban elderly with a low income and in rural elderly (200-496 g/day of calcium and 117-281 retinol equivalents/day). In particular, "low income" urban elderly people had a low energy intake (less than 5300 kJ/day) with an inadequate intake of iron, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin in addition to calcium and vitamin A. In urban areas underweight (body mass index <20 kg/m(2)) occurred in 7-31% of "all income" groups, whereas it occurred in 15-42% of "low income" groups. Rural elderly people showed a higher proportion of underweight (37% for men and 38% for women) as well as the lowest body mass index (21.0 k g/m(2) for men and 21.3 k g/m(2) for women). In conclusion, an inadequate intake of several micronutrients in old age, mostly calcium and vitamin A, is a matter of concern in Korea. This was observed most frequently in elderly people with a low income. In this group an inadequate intake of micronutrients is likely to be caused by a low energy intake.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-242
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • body-mass index
  • chinese
  • nutrition
  • older
  • age
  • population
  • urban
  • rdas
  • fat


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