Food consumption and anthropometry related to the frailty syndrome in low-income community-living elderly in a large city

Amanda de Carvalho Mello Marilia Sá Carvalho Luciana Correia Alves Viviane Pereira Gomes Elyne Montenegro Engstrom About the authors


The aim of this study was to describe anthropometric and food intake data related to the frailty syndrome in the elderly. This was a cross-sectional study in individuals ≥ 60 years of age in a household survey in the Manguinhos neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (n = 137). Frailty syndrome was diagnosed according to Fried et al., anthropometric measures were taken, and a food frequency questionnaire was applied and the results compared to Brazilian Ministry of Health guidelines. In the pre-frail and frail groups, body mass index and measures of central adiposity showed higher levels, while lean muscle parameters showed lower values, proportional to the syndrome’s gradation. Frail elderly consumed higher amounts of grains and lower amounts of beans and fruit; pre-frail elderly consumed more vegetables, dairy products, and high-sugar and high-fat foods; the two groups consumed similar amounts of meat. Thus, diagnosis of the syndrome, anthropometric evaluation, and dietary assessment should be included in health policies for the elderly, since they assist in early identification of risk and favor interventions for disease prevention and health and nutritional promotion.

Frail Elderly; Food Consumption; Anthropometry; Nutrition Assessment

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