Recreational physical activity, which increases energy expenditure, may help to maintain proper food intake. To compare the nutritional intake of inactive, active and very active healthy elderly women.
Eighty-two women were recruited in the community. Participants had to be > or = 65 years and in good health (< or = 2 drugs, < or = 1 major illness, < or = 1 surgical operation, no disability in basic or instrumental activities of daily living and no cognitive impairment). We compared food intakes between the 26 inactive (age 73.9 +/- 7.7 y, BMI 24.3 +/- 3.2 kg/m2), the 29 active (age 71.5 +/- 5.6 y, BMI 23.2 +/- 3.5 kg/m2) and the 27 very active (age 70.9 +/- 4.8 y, BMI 24.3 +/- 3.2 kg/m2) healthy women. The nutritional intake was evaluated by a three-day food record. Macronutrient, mineral and vitamin content were derived from tables. Self-reported type, duration and frequency of recreational physical activities during the last month were converted into energy expenditures.
Despite high levels of energy intake (mean 1743.9 kcal/d), mean intakes of calcium, vitamin B1, E and folic acid were lower than Recommended Dietary Allowances (-26.2%, -12%, -50.8%, -2.4% respectively) in the whole sample. There were no significant differences of energy intake and quantities of nutrients between the groups except for calcium intake which was significantly higher in inactive women (p=0.04).
Active healthy elderly women do not have a better nutritional profile than their inactive peers.