The Relationship between Dietary Habits and Frailty in Rural Japanese Community-Dwelling Older Adults: Cross-Sectional Observation Study Using a Brief Self-Administered Dietary History Questionnaire

Nutrients. 2018 Dec 14;10(12):1982. doi: 10.3390/nu10121982.


To develop effective nutritional interventions for preventing frailty, the specific problems associated with the dietary habits of individuals based on sex differences must be identified. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between dietary habits and frailty in rural Japanese community-dwelling older adults. We recruited 800 participants, aged 65 and older, who underwent a comprehensive health examination between November 2015 and December 2017. Dietary habits were assessed by a brief self-administered dietary history questionnaire. Frailty was determined using either the Kihon Checklist (KCL) or the Japanese version of the Cardiovascular Health Study (J-CHS). The percentage of frail older adults was 8.4% according to KCL and 4.0% according to J-CHS. Various kinds of nutrient intakes, including three major nutrients, minerals, and vitamins in frail men, according to KCL, were the lowest. By contrast, there were no differences in nutrient intake between the robust, prefrail, and frail female groups according to KCL. We found significant associations of the intakes of soluble dietary fiber, potassium, folate, and vitamin C with a frail status in men (p = 0.035, 0.023. 0.012, and 0.007, respectively), and an association of the intake of vitamin C with a frail status in women (p = 0.027) according to J-CHS. Attention should be paid to the diagnostic criteria of frailty and to sex differences, when nutritional interventions for the prevention of frailty are planned.

Keywords: dietary fiber; dietary habit; frailty; mineral; older adults; sex difference; vitamin.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Checklist
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet Surveys*
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly*
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Rural Population*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires