Food sources of nutrients of the diet of elderly Italians: II. Micronutrients

Int J Epidemiol. 1993 Oct;22(5):869-77. doi: 10.1093/ije/22.5.869.


The foods which contribute most to the intake of selected vitamins and minerals were evaluated for the elderly in Italy and compared to food sources of nutrients in the US. A sample of 945 Italians, aged > or = 60, from 14 centres throughout Italy, each completed weighed 7-day food records during the period 1983-1987. These data were used to quantify the contribution of individual foods to the total intake of and variability in intake of vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. In addition, those foods contributing most to micronutrient intake for the Italians were compared to those foods contributing most for the elderly in the US as recorded by the NHANES II Survey (1976-1980). Overall, there was a preponderance of vegetable rather than animal sources, and of less processed food sources in Italy. In Italy, wine was an important source of several nutrients, including iron and riboflavin. These data are useful for characterizing diet in a well-nourished population with marked differences in diet from the US. They may also form the basis for a quantitative food frequency questionnaire for epidemiological studies in Italy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Diet Surveys*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Food
  • Humans
  • Iron / administration & dosage
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Riboflavin / administration & dosage
  • Thiamine / administration & dosage
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vitamin A / administration & dosage
  • Wine


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Vitamin A
  • Iron
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamine