Dietary screening tool identifies nutritional risk in older adults

Regan L. Bailey, Paige E. Miller, Diane C. Mitchell, Terryl J. Hartman, Frank R. Lawrence, Christopher T. Sempos, Helen Smiciklas-Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Background: No rapid methods exist for screening overall dietary intakes in older adults. Objective: The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a scoring system for a diet screening tool to identify nutritional risk in community-dwelling older adults. Design: This cross-sectional study in older adults (n = 204) who reside in rural areas examined nutrition status by using an in-person interview, biochemical measures, and four 24-h recalls that included the use of dietary supplements. Results: The dietary screening tool was able to characterize 3 levels of nutritional risk: at risk, possible risk, and not at risk. Individuals classified as at nutritional risk had significantly lower indicators of diet quality (Healthy Eating Index and Mean Adequacy Ratio) and intakes of protein, most micronutrients, dietary fiber, fruit, and vegetables. The at-risk group had higher intakes of fats and oils and refined grains. The at-risk group also had the lowest serum vitamin B-12, folate, β-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin concentrations. The not-at-nutritional-risk group had significantly higher lycopene and β-carotene and lower homocysteine and methylmalonic acid concentrations. Conclusion: The dietary screening tool is a simple and practical tool that can help to detect nutritional risk in older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-183
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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