The effect of functional dentition on Healthy Eating Index scores and nutrient intakes in a nationally representative sample of older adults
Ervin, R.Bethene.; Dye, B.A.
Journal of Public Health Dentistry 69(4): 207-216
The objectives of this study were to examine the associations between functional dentition and the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) scores and nutrient intakes among older adults in the United States. The sample consisted of 2560 adults, 60 years and over from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002. We used multivariate linear regression to examine associations between functional dentition and HEI scores or nutrient intakes controlling for the potential confounding effects of age, race/ethnicity, education, smoking status, body mass index (BMI), self-reported health, and caloric intake. Dentate status was classified as: edentulous (no natural permanent teeth or implants), 1-20 teeth, or > or =21 teeth. A functional dentition was defined as having 21 or more teeth present. HEI scores and nutrient intakes were based on one 24-hour dietary recall. Males with a functional dentition consumed slightly more fruit and had higher alpha- and beta-carotene intakes than edentulous males. Females with any natural teeth had higher vitamin C intakes than edentulous females. There were no significant associations between dentate status and any of the remaining HEI scores or nutrient intakes for either sex. Having a functional dentition did not contribute substantially to higher HEI scores or nutrient intakes in this nationally representative sample of older adults. However, older men and women with no teeth or those who wear dentures consumed fewer servings of fruits and vegetables, especially those rich in carotenes and vitamin C, than those with teeth.