Macronutrient intake and inadequacies of community-dwelling older adults, a systematic review

S.J. ter Borg, S. Verlaan, D. Mijnarends, J.M.G.A. Schols, C.P.G.M. de Groot, Y.C. Luiking

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Anorexia of ageing may predispose older adults to under-nutrition and protein energy malnutrition. Studies, however, report a large variation in nutrient inadequacies among community-dwelling older adults. Summary: This systematic review provides a comprehensive overview of the energy and macronutrient intakes and possible inadequacies in community-dwelling older adults. PubMed and EMBASE were screened up to December 2013; data from national nutrition surveys were added. Forty-six studies were included, following the PRISMA guideline. Key Messages: Mean daily energy intake was 8.9 MJ in men and 7.3 MJ in women. Mean daily carbohydrate and protein intakes were 46 and 15 En% in men and 47 and 16 En% in women, respectively. Mean daily total fat, saturated fatty acid (SFA), mono-unsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) and poly-unsaturated fatty acid intakes were respectively 34, 13, 13 and 5-6 En%. The carbohydrates and MUFA intakes are below the acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges (AMDR). Fat intake is relatively high, and SFA intake exceeds the upper-AMDR. Based on the estimated average requirement (EAR) cut-point method, 10-12% of older adults do not meet the EAR for protein. To interpret a possible energy imbalance additional information is needed on physical activity, energy expenditure and body weight changes. This systematic review indicates a suboptimal dietary macronutrient distribution and a large variation in nutrient intakes among community-dwelling older adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-255
JournalAnnals of Nutrition & Metabolism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • dietary-protein intake
  • dependent elderly population
  • nutritional-status
  • cognitive function
  • physical-activity
  • food-consumption
  • body-composition
  • energy-intake
  • people
  • health


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