Nutrient Intakes from Meals and Snacks Differ with Age in Middle-Aged and Older Americans.Nutrients. 2019 Jun 08; 11(6)N
The present study investigated the meal patterns across demographic characteristics in middle-aged and older US adults. Study participants were noninstitutionalized participants from the 2005-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, an observational cross-sectional study. Data from 17,361 adults were categorized into 45-59 years (n = 7366), 60-70 years (n = 5348), and 71+ years (n = 4647) to compare demographics, nutrient intakes, and meal patterns. Dietary recalls were collected using the multiple-pass method. Data analyses were weighted to create a nationally representative sample. Two-thirds of adults reported consuming three meals on the day of intake. Lunch was the most often skipped meal across all age groups. A greater proportion of adults over 70 years reported consuming breakfast, while a smaller proportion reported consuming snacks. Significant differences were observed in total energy and nutrient intakes and proportion of the day's intakes by meal. Grain, milk, and dairy food group intakes were highest at breakfast, while the protein food group intakes were highest at lunch and dinner. Age-related differences in meal consumption and composition provide valuable formative data to support targeted nutritional education and intervention opportunities to promote and encourage healthy food choices.