In-Depth Assessment of the Nutritional Status of Korean American Elderly

Young Hee Lee, Jongeun Lee, Miyong T. Kim, Hae Ra Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although studies of immigrants have generally indicated significant dietary changes that mirror a Western diet upon immigration, previous data are limited to the dietary patterns and intakes of younger and middle-aged adults. Using a relatively large sample of Korean American elderly (KAE) immigrants, this article offers an in-depth assessment of the nutritional status of KAE, one of the most rapidly increasing minority populations in the United States. In this study, 202 KAE in a metropolitan city on the East Coast participated in a comprehensive nutritional survey using 24-hour dietary recall. Despite their spending about 16 years in the United States, the KAE consumed more than 2 regular meals in a day that were considered part of a Korean food pattern. When compared with the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III, the average consumption of nutrients reported was generally lower than in Americans, with the exception of carbohydrates, vegetable protein, and sodium intake. Inadequate intake of calcium, dietary fiber, and folate were notable when examined in comparison to the Dietary Reference Intakes. These findings can help health care providers and researchers design appropriate nutritional education programs to facilitate the adoption of healthier dietary practices in this immigrant population. In particular, future interventions should consider ways to lower sodium intake and increase fruit and vegetable consumption among KAE, while encouraging them to maintain their healthy dietary pattern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-311
Number of pages8
JournalGeriatric Nursing
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology

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