Science News
from research organizations

Snacking Can Benefit Older Adults

Date:
May 4, 2007
Source:
American Dietetic Association
Summary:
A nationally representative study of more than 2,000 people over age 65 found snacking is an "important dietary behavior" among older adults that can help ensure they consume enough calories in their diets, according to researchers at Auburn University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Share:
FULL STORY

A nationally representative study of more than 2,000 people over age 65 found snacking is an "important dietary behavior" among older adults that can help ensure they consume enough calories in their diets, according to researchers at Auburn University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Calorie consumption has been found to decrease as people get older -- by as much as 1,200 calories per day for men and 800 calories per day for women at age 70 compared to the consumption of 25-year-olds. Reasons for eating less include physical decline and illness, limited financial resources and social factors such as living alone. While some research has investigated meal patterns among older adults, less has been done on the role of snacks.

The researchers found 84 percent of the adults in the study ate snacks daily, with an average of about 2.5 snacks per day. Those who ate snacks consumed significantly higher amounts of calories, protein, carbohydrates and total fat than non-snackers. Snacks accounted for about one-quarter of all the snackers' daily calories, about one-fifth of their fat intake and 14 percent of their protein.

"This study shows snacking is an important dietary behavior, both in terms of the prevalence and the (calorie) contribution, among older adults," the researchers write. "Whereas snacking may promote (calorie) imbalance resulting in obesity among other age groups, our results suggest snacking may ensure older adults consume diets adequate in (calories).


Story Source:

Materials provided by American Dietetic Association. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Cite This Page:

American Dietetic Association. "Snacking Can Benefit Older Adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070502074232.htm>.
American Dietetic Association. (2007, May 4). Snacking Can Benefit Older Adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070502074232.htm
American Dietetic Association. "Snacking Can Benefit Older Adults." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070502074232.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

RELATED STORIES