Investigating risk of suboptimal macro and micronutrient intake and their determinants in older Danish adults with specific focus on protein intake: a cross-sectional study

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  • Simon Rønnow Schacht
  • Mads Vendelbo Lind
  • Rasmus Leidesdorff Bechshøft
  • Grith Højfeldt
  • Søren Reitelseder
  • Tenna Jensen
  • Astrid Pernille Jespersen
  • Dennis Sandris Nielsen
  • Inge Tetens

Colleges, School and Institutes


Suboptimal intake of nutrients is associated with adverse health outcomes. The current study investigated the risk of suboptimal macro and micronutrient intake and their potential determinants in a cross-sectional study of community-dwelling older Danish adults (65⁻81 years). Nutrient intake was obtained through a 3-day weighted dietary record and information on personal characteristics and attitudes towards specific foods and dietary habits and nutrition through questionnaires. Dietary Reference Values (DRV) from the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations were used for the assessment. Among 157 participants, 68% and 66% had risk of suboptimal intake of dietary fiber and saturated fatty acids (SFA). For mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), the numbers were 47% and 62%, respectively. Increased risk of suboptimal protein intake was estimated in 3 to 45% of the participants, depending on the criteria used for the DRV and of the mode of expressing protein intake. Fifty percent had intakes of alcohol above the maximum recommended intake. Risk of micronutrient inadequacy was particularly high for vitamin D and thiamine (80 and 45%, respectively). Total energy intake and attitude regarding healthy eating were associated with lower nutrient intake. The current study illustrates that there is room for improvements in the dietary quality of community dwelling older Danish adults.


Original languageEnglish
Article number795
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2019


  • dietary reference values, cut-point method, nutrient adequacy, nutrient deficiency, nutrient determinants, elderly, sarcopenia, bone mineral density, counteracting age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass (CALM) study