Objective: To evaluate total usual intakes and biomarkers of micronutrients, overall dietary quality and related health characteristics of US older adults who were overweight or obese compared with a healthy weight.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: Two 24-h dietary recalls, nutritional biomarkers and objective and subjective health characteristic data were analysed from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011-2014. We used the National Cancer Institute method to estimate distributions of total usual intakes from foods and dietary supplements for eleven micronutrients of potential concern and the Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2015 score.
Participants: Older adults aged ≥60 years (n 2969) were categorised by sex and body weight status, using standard BMI categories. Underweight individuals (n 47) were excluded due to small sample size.
Results: A greater percentage of obese older adults compared with their healthy-weight counterparts was at risk of inadequate Mg (both sexes), Ca, vitamin B6 and vitamin D (women only) intakes. The proportion of those with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D < 40 nmol/l was higher in obese (12 %) than in healthy-weight older women (6 %). Mean overall HEI-2015 scores were 8·6 (men) and 7·1 (women) points lower in obese than in healthy-weight older adults. In addition, compared with healthy-weight counterparts, obese older adults were more likely to self-report fair/poor health, use ≥ 5 medications and have limitations in activities of daily living and cardio-metabolic risk factors; and obese older women were more likely to be food-insecure and have depression.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that obesity may coexist with micronutrient inadequacy in older adults, especially among women.
Keywords: Healthy Eating Index; National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; Nutritional biomarker; Obesity; Total usual nutrient intake.