The increasing incidence of obesity, and its contribution to metabolic syndrome in all age group, is becoming an urgent public health syndrome in all ages. We compared diets between obese and non-obese older subjects and compared diets with physical activity.
Forty-five obese and eighty-seven non-obese older subjects. Intakes of food by food-group in the obesity and non-obesity groups were checked using a visual type presentation of model nutritional balance chart (MNBC). The MNBC demonstrated the ideal dietary distribution of 11 categories of food: potatoes and grains (hereinafter called grains), meat, fish, eggs, milk and dairy products (hereinafter called milk), beans and bean products, such as bean curd and miso soup (hereinafter called beans), green and yellow vegetables, light-colored vegetables, fruits, oil, and sugar. The number of times each food category was consumed was marked with black dots; the foods eaten were recorded by category, but not by amount. The subject filled a meal chart which consisted of columns for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks between meals. The meal chart was to be filled out for any 3 days of the last 2 weeks before revisiting the programs for preventing self-care dependence. We calculated the nutritional balance, as follows: (intake ration of food = the actual food intake / the ideal food intake following the MNBC). Thus the nutritional balance based on the MNBC was ideally “1”.（In Atsuko Satoh‘ research review from Hirosaki University of Health and Welfare, published in Health 2013 Vol. 5 by Scientific Research Publishing）
Average BMIs of obese and non-obese older subjects were 27.1 ± 2.1 kg/m² (varied from 16.3 to 24.9 kg/m², n=45) and 21.5 ± 2.3 kg/m² (varied from 25.0 to 34.5 kg/m²、n=88), respectively. The numbers of older subjects who did or did not engage in regular exercise were 33 and 10 in the obesity group and 61 and 23 in the non-obesity group, respectively. Exercise performance was not different between obese and non-obese older subjects. When the subjects completed the food chart over the three day interval, visual intakes of eleven categories of food were calculated and input to a computer. Intake-ratio of food in the obesity group was significantly higher than that of the non-obesity group (p< 0.01) in the categories of meat, eggs, oil, and sugar.
Food intake is a primary factor of obesity but regular exercise or habitual activities is not a key factor for obesity in older subjects. Since exercise habit is difficult to achieve in older subjects, particularly those who are obese, food control using the present visual type MNBC would be one strategy for the management of obesity.