Anthropometric Evaluation and Food Registration of a Group of Elderly Members of a Health Program in Mineiros-GO

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ORIGINAL ARTICLE 

CARRIJO, Lucilene Santos Pereira [1], FRANÇA, Ana Paula Souza [2], TAVARES, Dielly Custódio [3], OLIVEIRA, Kelly Kristina Nogueira de [4], SILVA, Istefane Borges da [5], COSTA, Sílvia Souza Lima [6], FREITAS, Lunara da Silva [7]

CARRIJO, Lucilene Santos Pereira. Et al. Anthropometric Evaluation and Food Registration of a Group of Elderly Members of a Health Program in Mineiros-GO. Revista Científica Multidisciplinar Núcleo do Conhecimento. Year 06, Ed. 06, Vol. 04, pp. 162-179. June 2021. ISSN: 2448-0959, Access Link: https://www.nucleodoconhecimento.com.br/health/health-program

ABSTRACT

Currently, the number of elderly people has been growing significantly in Brazil and worldwide. It is believed that this increase is related to public health policies, social assistance, social security and the concern for a healthy and active aging. To evaluate the anthropometric and food profile of elderly members of a health program in Mineiros-GO. Descriptive observational study, developed with the elderly (age ≥ 60 years), of both sexes. The individuals were submitted to anthropometry, and height, weight, waist circumference, calf circumference, brachial and body fat assessment by skinfolds were evaluated. The evaluation of eating habits was made by analyzing 3 dietary records on non-consecutive weekdays, including one at the weekend. Participants were 54 elderly, mostly female (85%), with a mean age of 72.4 + 6.6 years. BMI indicated that 50% of the elderly were overweight. Waist circumference indicated risk for cardiovascular diseases among women, but not among men. The percentage of fat was adequate for women, however, increased for men (W: mean = 33.3%, SD = + 5.6%; M: average = 31.2%, SD = + 6.9%). The evaluation of dietary habits showed adequate macronutrient intake and micronutrients below the recommended level. The present study showed that, despite the adequate intake of macronutrients, the group presented overweight and high risk for chronic diseases. Therefore, it is suggested to conduct more research with the elderly, in order to contribute to a natural and healthy aging.

Keywords: Aging, Anthropometry, Food Consumption.

1. INTRODUCTION

According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), individuals aged 60 years or older are considered elderly. Currently, the number of elderly has been growing significantly in Brazil and worldwide, and in Brazil the estimate for 2050 will reach 66.5 million people (29.3%) in this age group. It is believed that this increase is related to public health policies, social assistance, social security and the importance of a healthy and active aging, in which demand becomes increasing for this group (BRASIL, 2016).

The increase in the life expectancy of the population may be related to discoveries of the cure and treatment of various pathologies in recent years. It can be observed that quality of life and economy are also directly linked to this increase. Aging causes the emergence of several Chronic Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs), such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemias and cancer. Thus, there is a need for greater care for the elderly, in addition to investments in health areas, in order to promote the healthy aging of the entire population (MIRANDA; MENDES; SILVA, 2016).

The origin of NCDs is related, among other factors, to lifestyle and eating habits, because inadequate eating can lead to the development of disorders, which interfere throughout life. A balanced diet is extremely important and helps in healthy aging, which can be influenced by both lifestyle and genetic factors. Healthy eating together with regular physical activity practices are measures to achieve healthy aging (MARCHIONI; FISBERG, 2009). In addition, everyone is entitled to access to quality food, in sufficiently adequate quantities, under microbiologically accessible conditions, which meet the special needs of each individual and ensure healthy ageing (GEUS et al., 2011).

Anthropometric evaluation is of paramount importance in the aging process, a phase in which the individual presents physiological changes characteristic of age. Among them, one can mention alterations in the oral cavity, which hinder chewing, swallowing and perception of the sensory characteristics of food. In addition, there are also gastrointestinal, metabolic alterations and loss of muscle mass, leading to sarcopenia, reduction of physical strength and total energy expenditure with consequent loss of autonomy. The feeding of the elderly is a factor that requires a lot of attention, because it is a period in which changes occur, either in the internal conditions of their body or those related to the external contexts of the environment, which modify their eating habits. It is important to remember that old age is a process related to changes in behavior, given the transformations that occur over time (MIRANDA; MENDES; SILVA, 2016; GEUS et al., 2011).

Sarcopenia is defined as the loss of lean mass, strength and muscle function, which can affect both men and women, being associated with a higher risk of falls and decreased functional capacity. With aging, sarcopenia tends to worsen and is related to low Body Mass Index (BMI) and sedentary lifestyle (NETO et al., 2012). Anthropometric evaluation is believed to be important for the elderly population because it provides information that may reflect on their health status and quality of life. It is a fast, easy-to-perform, non-invasive and low-cost method, performed by means of simple instruments such as scales, measuring tapes and adipometers. It is composed of measures such as weight, height, circumferences and skinfolds (PFRIMER; FERRIOLLI, 2008). Nutritional assessment aims to verify the presence of diseases or nutritional disorders, using appropriate measures to collaborate in the recovery and maintenance of the individual’s health status (MELLO, 2017).

Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the anthropometric and food profile of elderly members of a health program in Mineiros-GO.

2. MATERIALS AND METHODS

2.1 DESIGN AND STUDY SUBJECTS

This is a descriptive observational research, which was developed with a group of elderly people participating in a health program of a Higher Education Institution (HEI) in Mineiros – Goiás, from August to November 2019. The group started in February 2018, and currently has the participation of 82 elderly people, 10 men and 72 women. The main objective of the program was to provide the elderly with the knowledge necessary to reach a dignified old age, with health and autonomy. A multidisciplinary team, composed of students and professors from a Higher Education Institution, from different areas, conduct the activities with the participants in an appropriate space. Among the activities developed are educational lectures, dynamics, conversation circles and physical activities. The cycle of activities takes place every semester, twice a week.

The research subjects were defined using inclusion criteria: being currently registered in the health group, being aged ≥ 60 years, both sexes.Exclusion criteria were: individuals who presented physical or mental condition that could have prevented their participation or those who chose not to participate.

The research was approved by the Research Ethics Committee (CEP) under the number CAAE 14279919.0.0000.5428, because it is in accordance with Resolution No. 466/12 of the National Health Council, which involves ethical aspects of research with human beings.

2.2 PROCEDURES

The research was conducted at established times and days, with data collection from August to October 2019, with signature of the Free and Informed Consent Form (TCLE). A questionnaire was developed specifically for this research, containing sociodemographic information such as date of birth, gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, occupation, family income, regular physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption and diagnosis of diabetes and hypertension.

After completing this questionnaire, the individuals were submitted to anthropometry, when the measurements of height, weight (to calculate BMI), waist circumference, calf, arm, arm muscle and skinfolds were recorded: trichisthesis, subscapular, calf and suprailiac.

Height was measured by a estadiometer, with an accuracy of 1 mm. The measurement was performed with individuals barefoot, in an upright position, united feet, buttocks, shoulders and heels against the wall, with their arms loose along the body. Height was determined according to gender, based on the formulas proposed by Chumlea (1985) (CHUMLEA; ROCHE; STEINBAUGH, 1985).

The weight was verified by means of a digital scale of the Omron® brand with capacity of 150 kg, with the individual standing upright, barefoot, using light clothes, united feet and weight distributed on both feet. BMI was calculated considering the ratio between body mass (in kg) and height (in meters) squared (kg/m²) and classified according to the cutoff points proposed by Lipschitz (1994).  (Table 1).

Table 1- Classification of nutritional status according to BMI for the elderly.

BMI (Kg/m²) Classification
< 22 Low weight
22-27 Eutrophy
> 27 Overweight

Source: Lipschitz (1994). BMI – body mass index.

The waist-to-height ratio (WHT) was evaluated by dividing the waist by height, starting from the premise that an individual’s waist circumference should not be greater than half of his or her height. The reference values, according to Pitanga (2011) are: 0.52 for men and 0.53 for women. When higher than the reference, they indicate cardiovascular risk (PITANGA, 2011).

Waist circumference was measured with an inelastic and flexible Metric Tape of the Prime Med® with a capacity of 150 cm, at the midpoint between the last rib and the iliac crest in triplicate, with the individual in an upright position, relaxed abdomen, arms extended laterally along the body with the palms facing him, feet a little apart and weight equally distributed between the two lower limbs. For the classification of waist circumference were used as references to the Sociedade Brasileira De Diabetes (2017). (Table 2).

Table 2 – Waist circumference cutoff points for defining the risk of metabolic complications.

sex Risk for metabolic complications
High (cm) Very high (cm)
men 94 > 102
Women 80 > 88

Source: Brazilian Diabetes Society, 2017

The calf circumference (CC) was measured in order to assess the loss of lean mass, with the individual seated, leg flexed at a 90º angle with the knee, placing the tape on the circumference with the largest diameter of the calf and measured laterally. The reference values adopted, which indicated a reduction in muscle mass, were: < 33 cm for women and < 34 cm for men (PAGOTTO, 2018).

Arm circumference was measured with the individual in an anatomical position. With the arm flexed at a 90º angle with the elbow, the midpoint between the acromion and the end of the olecranon was located. After marking the midpoint, the individual extended the arms along the body with the palm facing the thigh and the circumference measurement was performed in millimeters. This measure was used to estimate muscle tissue, obtained through the results of arm circumference and TSF, using the appropriate formulas (FRISANCHO, 1990).

The classification of the percentage of adequacy of the MAMC was made as follows: severe malnutrition > 70%, moderate > 70-80%, mild > 80-90 % and eutrophic > 90-100 %. The percentages for calculating the % adequacy were obtained in reference tables, according to Frisancho (1990).

For the determination of body fat, the four skinfolds were measured using a CESCORF®. Triceps skinfold (TSF) was made with the individual with his back to the meter, where the midpoint between the achromial and the olecranon was marked, forming the adipose tissue fold (SAMPAIO, 2012).

Subscapular skinfold performed with the individual in orthostatic position with his back to the meter, requesting that he bend the arm back, over the costar arches, forming an angle of 90º with the elbow. With the help of the fingers, the point below the lower angle of the scapular was located and marked, where the bending measurement was made (SAMPAIO, 2012).

Suprailiac skinfold was measured in an orthostatic position, visualized by the observer laterally. Taking an oblique skinfold, immediately above the iliac crest, coincident with an imaginary line descending from the anterior axillary line. The appliance was fixed 1 cm below the nail insertion (SAMPAIO, 2012).

The calf skinfold was measured at the point of greater perimeter of the leg, with the individual seated and the knee joint in flexion forming an angle of 90º with the thigh. The percentage of fat was estimated for the specific BMI values for the elderly and classified according to a study conducted by Gallagher et al. (2000) with 1626 individuals of both sexes and 3 different ethnicities (GALLAGHER, 2000). (table 3).

Table 3 – Estimated cutoff points for body fat percentage of elderly aged 60-79 years, according to race and BMI.

BMI

(Kg/m²)

Female (%) Male (%)
Afrodescendant yellow white Afrodescendant yellow white
22

27

27,4

37,8

30,9

38,9

29,7

41,0

13,1

24,8

16,6

25,9

15,5

27,0

Source: adapted from Gallagher et al., 2000. BMI – Body Mass Index.

For the calculations, the body density (BD) prediction equation proposed by Petroski (1995) and the Siri formula, which uses BD to calculate fat percentage (PETROSKI, 1995), were applied.

2.3 FOOD CONSUMPTION

The food intake was evaluated by analyzing 3 food records. The volunteer chose 3 days of the week, non-consecutive, including a weekend day, being Monday, Wednesday and Saturday and recorded all food consumed with their respective quantities, homemade measures, trademarks, forms of preparation, time and place of meals. Subsequently, these records were analyzed individually for the evaluation of food intake quantitatively. To analyze the adequacy of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and micronutrients (calcium, vitamin D, iron and sodium) the reference values for the mean age of the sample were used, considering gender, according tothe DRIs (Dietary Reference Intake),(1997) (INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE, 1997; PADOVANI, 2006).

2.4 DATA PROCESSING

The data were represented descriptively. For the continuous variables, the arithmetic mean was used, with its respective standard deviation (SD), and for categorical variables, absolute frequency (N) and percentage (%). The tabulation and calculation of descriptive data were elaborated using the Microsoft Office Excel program, version 2013.

3. RESULTS

The health program initially had 82 registered participants and of these, 60 were regulars and agreed to participate in the study. Of the 60 interviewees, 6 were under 60 years old and were therefore excluded. Participants were 54 elderly, most of them female (85%), with a mean age of 72.4 + 6.6 years, minimum of 60 and maximum of 85 years. The elderly were mostly Caucasian, married or in stable union and retired (table 4).

Analyzing nutritional status, BMI indicated eutrophy for men (BMI = 26.0 kg/m²) and overweight for women (BMI = 27.7 kg/m²). In addition, 50% of all elderly were overweight. Waist circumference indicated risk for cardiovascular diseases among women, but not among men. MAMC was adequate for 100% of the evaluated women and for most men (87.5%). However, calf circumference indicated adequate lean mass only for 56.5% of women and 37.5% of men. The percentage of fat was adequate for women, however, increased for men (W: average = 33.3%, SD = + 5.6%; M: average = 31.2%, SD = + 6.9%). Table 4 shows the characteristics of the sample.

Table 4 – Socio-demographic and anthropometric data of the sample, according to gender.

Variables Male

N=8

Female

N=46

Age (Years) 76 + 8 71 + 6
Caucasian 6 (75,0) 33 (71,7)
Married or stable union 8 (100) 25 (54,3)
Up to complete elementary school 3 (37,5) 32 (69,6)
Retired 8 (100) 37 (80,4)
Etilists 2 (25,0) 5 (10,9)
Smokers 1 (2,2)
Diabetics 2 (25,0) 10 (21,7)
Hypertensive 2 (25,0) 30 (65,0)
Body Mass Index (kg/m²) 26,0 + 5,6 27,7 + 4,3
Waist Height Ratio 0,55 + 0,07 0,50 + 0,1
Waist Circumference (cm) 90,4 + 11,0 86,2 + 12,8
Above 90% adequacy of MAMC 7 (87,5) 46 (100)
Proper CC 3 (37,5) 26 (56,5)
Fat (%) bodily 31,2 + 7 33,3 + 5,6

Values represented in average + standard deviation or n (%). MAMC – Arm Muscle Circumference. CC – Calf Circumference. Source: author.

Dietary records were evaluated in 34 (63%) of the individuals who returned complete food records and with valid information. The mean caloric intake of the sample evaluated was below that recommended by the DRIs, both for men (2,497 kcal for a 76-year-old man) and for women (2,039 kcal for a 71-year-old woman).

Carbohydrate intake was adequate for both sexes, according to the recommendation (45-65%). Similarly, protein and lipid intake was also adequate for men and women (recommendation: 10-35% and 20-35%, respectively).

Regarding micronutrients, the average calcium intake found (recommendation: 1200mg, 70 years) and vitamin D (recommendation: 15μg, 70 years) were inadequate for both sexes. On the other hand, the average iron intake was adequate for men and women (recommendation: 8mg, 70 years). The mean sodium intake was adequate in both sexes, considering that intake lower than 2400 mg per day is recommended at any age (Table 5).

Table 5: Means and standard deviations of macro and micronutrient intake evaluated by the 3-day food record, according to gender.

Variables male female male female
Average + SD Average + SD recommendation
Total Calories (Kcal) 1340+429,7 1194+333,4 2497 2039
Carbohydrates (%) 47,4+11,5 51,9+7,5 45-65
Proteins (%) 21,5+7,5 22,3+5,9 10-35
Lipids (%) 29+6,7 26,9+5 20-35
Calcium (mg) 460,3+216,4 326+193 1200
Iron (mg) 12,4+3,3 9+3,4 8
Vitamin D (μg) 11,8+23 1+0,9 15
Sodium (mg) 2372,7+1864,4 1216,2+753,7 ˂ 2400

Values represented in average + standard deviation or n (%). Source: author.

4. DISCUSSION

This study described the anthropometric and food assessment of elderly participants in a health program. The group consisted mostly of elderly females (85%), as well as in the Brazilian population, in general, in which women show greater interest in the search for health. This may be related to the greater scope of health programs, which generally focus more on the health of women, children and the elderly, most often accompanied by women (SOUZA, 2013).

The average age found was 72.4 years, equivalent to another study, which found an average of 70.4 years of age (BORBA; MUNIZ, 2011).

Regarding education, it was noticed that most of the interviewees had little access to education, not exceeding elementary school (68.5%) and this can have a negative impact on the care and quality of life of the elderly. In addition, it may imply difficulty in understanding and learning related to healthy eating habits (BORBA; MUNIZ, 2011; SILVA; SIMÕES; LEITE, 2007).

The study in question showed a low number of smokers and smokers, a relevant result for the health of this population. On the other hand, one study observed a higher prevalence of elderly people who consumed alcohol and cigarettes, 20.8% of men and 11.7% of women. Alcoholism and smoking are habits that can have harmful consequences for the health of the elderly, since tobacco is considered one of the most influential carcinogens for humans. High alcohol consumption is associated with hypertension, cirrhosis, hemorrhagic stroke and cancers of the oropharynx, larynx, esophagus and liver (SENGER, 2011).

The mean BMI found showed overweight for most women (27.7 kg/m²), a value similar to the Study by Closs (2015), where women showed high BMI levels (29.58±5.96kg/m2). The increased BMI may be associated with an increased risk of death, in addition to association with the development of cardiovascular risk factors in the elderly (CLOSS, 2015).

However, comparing this research with other studies that also evaluated BMI for this age group, indicating overweight for both sexes, they report the relationship with lifestyle. Thus, the increase in BMI is associated with causes of mortality among men and women over 60 years of age. In addition, both increased fat mass and loss of lean mass are associated with the risk and development of diseases. It is noteworthy that BMI is a variable that should not be evaluated individually because it is a method that does not consider body breakdowns separately. Therefore, it is advisable to associate them with other indicators such as folds and circumferences (SANADA, 2018).

The Waist-to-Height Ratio (WHtR) found in the investigation indicated a risk for cardiovascular disease among men, corroborating the study by Closs (2015), with the elderly, which found WHtR > 0.5. Using WHtR to assess cardiovascular risk, it is considered that waist circumference should not be greater than half of height, indicating central obesity (CLOSS, 2015). This method has been widely cited in the literature as a risk indicator in the elderly, in addition to waist circumference (WC) alone, as it is used to assess high coronary risk and is related to mortality (PITANGA, 2011). WHtR represents one of the best risk indicators in relation to other identification methods for cardiovascular diseases, such as WC and Waist and Hip Ratio (WHR) (BENEDETTI; MEURER; MORINI, 2012).

In this study, WC showed adequacy for males and inadequacy for females, as well as in Machado’s study; Coelho and Coelho (2010) in which WC was 87.23±14.2 cm for females. According to the Sociedade Brasileira de Diabetes (2017) it is known that fat accumulation in the abdominal region has been used to identify visceral adiposity associated with the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. (SOCIEDADE BRASILEIRA DE DIABETES, 2017).

Some studies show that men tend to have higher lean mass deposits compared to women. However, in this research, 100% of the women showed adequacy greater than 90% to the MAMC. Different from the results presented in the study by Silva et al., (2015), The MAMC was similar for both sexes (M: 23.8±4.1 and W: 23.5±4.2; p=0.16).

CC, on the other hand, proved inadequate for a considerable portion of the elderly evaluated in this study, indicating possible impairment of lean mass. On the contrary, the study by Closs (2015) found a satisfactory result, showing preservation of muscle mass. Adequate CC has been associated with greater muscle strength, better physical and functional performance, besides being indicated as the most sensitive to evaluate muscle mass in the elderly (CLOSS, 2015).

The results of the fat percentage of this study indicated excess subcutaneous fat in men, corroborating the percentage of fat found in the study that evaluated 395 elderly residents in nursing homes in Rio de Janeiro. Skinfold measurements have been widely used in the estimation of body fat, because they are considered easy to perform, low cost and applicable in field and epidemiological studies (MACHADO; COELHO; COELHO, 2010).

Although eutrophic, men in the elderly group presented high fat percentage, which may indicate increased risk for NCDs. The accumulation of body fat can affect different systems, and is related to metabolic and blood problems, besides making the elderly more vulnerable to limitations and reduction in daily life activity (MIRANDA, 2017). In addition, most of the men evaluated had impaired lean mass, even though they were members of a program that offers physical activity twice a week. In a study that analyzed the body composition of 37 elderly people in Rio de Janeiro and used several methods to calculate the fat percentage, it was observed that one of the methods that showed significant results was by measure of 4 folds, the same as in this study, using petroski,(1995).

The evaluation of macronutrient and micronutrient intake was estimated according to gender and age group (51-70 years; > 70 years), usingthe DRIs (Dietary Referece Intakes)(PADOVANI, 2006). Although 50% of the members are overweight, inadequate caloric intake can be seen according to the recommendation, and the average daily energy requirement of these individuals is approximately 2497 and 2039 Kcal (INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE, 1997). This means that the elderly consume fewer calories than the daily need. Similar values were observed in the study by Venturini et al., (2015), which found values between 1320 and 1564 Kcal. Nevertheless, in this research, the proportion of macronutrients ingested (carbohydrates, proteins and lipids) was adequate. Especially for the elderly, it is important that the diet is balanced in relation to macronutrients, as observed (VENTURINI, 2015).

However, inadequacies in the intake of micronutrients such as calcium and vitamin D were observed, similar to the Family Budget Survey (POF) 2008-2009 in the elderly in Brazil, which found prevalences of inadequacy close to 80%. According to Milk; Baratto e Silva (2014), calcium is extremely important in the aging process, as it helps in the prevention of osteoporosis and is an important dietary ingredient for bone tissue (FISBERG et al., 2014). Its role in the body depends on the action of vitamin D, along with sun exposure and physical activity, making it important protectors against bone mass loss and the development of osteoporosis. Its daily recommendation is 1200mg per day from the age of 51 for men and women precisely because this group is more vulnerable to osteoporosis (INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE, 1997). Also according to the POF, vitamin D presented intake close to 100% adequacy in all regions, different from this research that found inadequacy for both sexes (VENTURINI, 2015).

Iron was the only micronutrient that had adequate intake, with an average of 12.4 mg for men and 9 mg for women. On the contrary, from the study by Venturini et al., (2015) that showed that women tend to consume less iron than men. According to Gualandro; Hojaij and Filho (2010) iron deficiency is considered common among the elderly. Its cause may be both by the intake of medications that impair its absorption, as well as inadequate intake of food sources such as meats, beans, fruits and vegetables. Approximately 150g of meat reaches almost half of the daily recommendation, so it is considered an easy-to-acquire micronutrient (PFRIMER; FERRIOLLI, 2008). Studies indicate that anemia is a frequent disorder in the elderly population and that its prevalence increases withage. It is considered a risk factor for morbidity and mortality, besides interfering in physical and mental performance and in the ability to maintain daily activities, affecting the quality of life of this population, therefore, the consumption of food sources is fundamental. According to the DRIs, the reference values for iron intake are 8.0 mg/day for women and men (NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, 2001).

With the aging process, the elderly tend to become much more vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies, especially vitamins and minerals, especially with bone tissue, predisposing to osteoporosis or bone fractures. Thus, the elderly need a specific food plan and adequate for their nutritional particularities (VENTURINI, 2015; COUSSIRAT, 2012).

This research represented an investigation of great relevance for the population in question. However, some limitations should be scored. The first, related to sample size, which can be considered small. Nevertheless, 66% of the elderly enrolled in the group were evaluated. Another limiting point was the method used to evaluate food intake (3-day food record). It cannot be ensured that the food intake of only 3 days accurately reflects the individual’s eating habits, besides the fact that there may be purposely changes in the food habit during the evaluation period. The evaluation of food consumption can be influenced by several factors, such as interference in the quality of information, educational level, concern with social approval and beauty pattern and the individual’s own perception of healthy eating (MENEZES, 2013).

5. CONCLUSION

The present study found high fat percentage for males, BMI and high waist circumference for women, which may imply the onset of NCDs. This fact drew attention to the need for nutritional guidance to awaken the adoption of healthier eating habits, because it is an inevitable fact to link these life habits with anthropometric data of the population, especially of the elderly, who are already affected with numerous physiological influences of advancing age.

Important nutritional deficiencies were also observed in the elderly population studied, mainly in micronutrients. It is believed that this may be the reality of other populations with similar characteristics, which shows the importance of further studies with this age group.

Therefore, it is of paramount importance to detect individuals at nutritional risk early, as it becomes possible to perform a primary and more specific nutritional intervention, such as a development of preventive actions, nutritional guidance in primary health care, aiming at promoting healthy eating and stimulating physical activity, in order to promote improvements in the quality of life of the elderly.

Therefore, the expansion of studies of body composition and anthropometric profile in the elderly, using skinfolds and muscle perimeters more comprehensively favor a better diagnosis of the nutritional status of this population, which facilitates the planning and elaboration of a conduct to be applied. Thus, it is increasingly important to know the specific anthropometric and dietary characteristics of each age group, enabling the construction of local reference standards. Therefore, it is suggested to conduct more research with this group in order to contribute to a natural and healthy aging.

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[1] Nutritionist, postgraduate in clinical nutrition from the Metropolitan College of Ribeirão Preto São Paulo (SP).

[2] Nutritionist, graduated from Morgana Potrich College (FAMP), Mineiros – GO Brazil.

[3] Nutritionist, graduated from Morgana Potrich College (FAMP), Mineiros – GO Brazil.

[4] Nutritionist, post graduated in clinical nutrition from the Metropolitan College of Ribeirão Preto São Paulo (SP).

[5] Nutritionist, graduated from Morgana Potrich College (FAMP), Mineiros – GO Brazil.

[6] Nurse, graduated from Morgana Potrich College (FAMP), Mineiros – GO Brazil

[7] Guidance counselor. Nutritionist, PhD in Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo (USP), São Paulo – SP. Professor at FAMP – Morgana Potrich College, Mineiros – GO, Brazil.

Submitted: March, 2021.

Approved: June, 2021.

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