Relation between Lifestyle and Socio-Demographic Factors and Body Composition among the Elderly

  •  Fahime Zeinali    
  •  Nahal Habibi    
  •  Mehnoosh Samadi    
  •  Kamal Azam    
  •  Kurosh Djafarian    


BACKGROUND: Aging is accompanied by various changes that can cause changes in diet and body composition resulting sometimes in malnutrition and disability in the elderly. Changes in body composition among the elderly are mainly the result of physical inactivity and nutrition. This study was designed to examine the relationship between lifestyle and socio-demographic factors and body composition.

METHOD: A cross-sectional study was carried out with 380 elderly people aged 60 and over in district 5 of Tehran, Iran. Their body composition was measured by Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis and the Actigraph device was used for assessing physical activity patterns. A three-day food recall was conducted to measure their intake of energy and macronutrients. Lifestyle and socio-demographic information were collected by interview using a pretested questionnaire.

RESULTS: Overweight, obesity and central obesity were more prevalent in women than in men (p<0.001). Moreover, 57.1% and 18.7% of participants had high and very high fat mass index, respectively. High fat mass index was seen in 47% of men and 37.5% of women who had normal body mass index (BMI). Meanwhile, age, gender, physical activity, energy intake, the percentage of energy from fat and protein, educational level, job, television watching time, smoking, chronic diseases, and taking medicine were significantly associated with anthropometric measurements (p<0.05).

CONCLUSION: Overweight, obesity and high body fat percentage were common among the aged. Considering the factors that are significantly associated with body composition, programs that can increase their awareness about the dietary balance and suitable physical activity should be organized to address these problems.

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