Evaluation of the taste of older people and their relationship with nutritional state and food habits

Keywords: taste, nutritional status, food habits, aged, dysgeusia

Abstract

Aims: to assess the prevalence of dysgeusia (reduced taste) and the association with nutritional status and eating practices in a group of elderly people, as well as to identify the most affected and preserved tastes.
Methods: cross-sectional study with a sample recruited at Leisure Center for the elderly in the city of Porto Alegre / RS. Taste was assessed using taste strips and nutritional status using the Body Mass Index. Eating practices were investigated through a questionnaire. For statistical analysis, the chi-square and ANOVA tests were used, with a significance level of p <0.05.
Results: 62 elderly people (84% female, mean 70±7.6 years) were evaluated, prevalence of dysgeusia was 19.4% (n = 12), 58% overweight (n = 36), 40.5% eutrophy (n = 25) and 1.5% of low weight (n = 1), with no significant association between changes in taste and nutritional status (p = 0.397). Around 55% of the elderly had elevated sodium consumption. There was no significant difference in the mean of points for acid taste between the elderly who season the salad with lemon or vinegar and those who do not (p = 0.054 and p = 0.935, respectively). The average points for salty taste did not differ between those who prepare meals with spices rich in sodium and those who do not use them (p = 0.055). The sweet was the most preserved taste, while the acid was more reduced.
Conclusions: despite the contrary evidence, the impact of taste changes on nutritional status and eating practices was not identified. Even so, new studies that include these variables are necessary.

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Published
2020-11-13
How to Cite
Gomes, D. R. dos P., Schirmer, C. L., Nolte, Ângela de O. A., Bós, Ângelo J. G., & Venzke, J. G. (2020). Evaluation of the taste of older people and their relationship with nutritional state and food habits. PAJAR - Pan American Journal of Aging Research, 8(1), e37707. https://doi.org/10.15448/2357-9641.2020.1.37707
Section
Original Article