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Nutrient Patterns and Their Food Sources in Older Persons from France and Quebec: Dietary and Lifestyle Characteristics

Allès, Benjamin, Samieri, Cécilia, Lorrain, Simon, Jutand, Marthe-Aline, Carmichael, Pierre-Hugues, Shatenstein, Bryna, Gaudreau, Pierrette, Payette, Hélène, Laurin, Danielle, Barberger-Gateau, Pascale
Nutrients 2016 v.8 no.4
body mass index, elderly, food intake, genetic factors, healthy diet, healthy eating habits, higher education, lifestyle, longitudinal studies, nutritional adequacy, nutritive value, occupations, principal component analysis, sociodemographic characteristics, variance, France, Quebec
Background: Dietary and nutrient patterns have been linked to health outcomes related to aging. Food intake is influenced by environmental and genetic factors. The aim of the present study was to compare nutrient patterns across two elderly populations sharing a common ancestral cultural background, but living in different environments. Methods: The diet quality, lifestyle and socioeconomic characteristics of participants from the Three-City Study (3C, France, n = 1712) and the Québec Longitudinal Study on Nutrition and Successful Aging (NuAge, Quebec, Canada, n = 1596) were analyzed. Nutrient patterns and their food sources were identified in the two samples using principal component analysis. Diet quality was compared across sample-specific patterns by describing weekly food intake and associations with the Canadian Healthy Eating Index (C-HEI). Results: Three nutrient patterns were retained in each study: a healthy, a Western and a more traditional pattern. These patterns accounted for 50.1% and 53.5% of the total variance in 3C and NuAge, respectively. Higher education and non-physical occupations over lifetime were associated with healthy patterns in both studies. Other characteristics such as living alone, having a body mass index lower than 25 and being an ex-smoker were associated with the healthy pattern in NuAge. No association between these characteristics and the nutrient patterns was noted in 3C. The healthy and Western patterns from each sample also showed an inverse association with C-HEI. Conclusion: The two healthy patterns showed important similarities: adequate food variety, consumption of healthy foods and associations with common sociodemographic factors. This work highlights that nutrient patterns derived using a posteriori methods may be useful to compare the nutritional quality of the diet of distinct populations.