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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 147-153

Nutrition status of lower-income older adults in Thailand during COVID-19 pandemic

1 Asian Demographic Research Institute, Shanghai University, Shanghai, China
2 Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts, University of the Philippines, Quezon City, Philippines
3 Asian Center, University of the Philippines, Quezon City, Philippines

Correspondence Address:
Juniesy Martinez Estanislao
Asian Center, University of the Philippines, Quezon City
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/shb.shb_150_22

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Introduction: The nutrition status of older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic is an area of concern. Lower-income older population of Thailand in particular has been affected with regard to their employment, income, and health status. This study focused on the prevalence of nutrition statuses using body mass index (BMI) of this age group and their association with sociodemographic, health behavior, social connectedness, and economic change factors during the pandemic. Methods: Using the 2021 Survey on Housing and Support Services for Poor Older Adults, a sample of lower-income individuals aged 55 years and over was collected from the five regions of Thailand. The data were analyzed using multinomial logistic regression where being underweight and overweight were compared with normal weight as the reference. Relative risk ratios (RRR) were presented. Results: Living in regions other than Bangkok was found to be associated with a higher risk of underweight status and lower risk of being overweight. Having primary level (RRR = 0.600, P < 0.05) and above primary level of education (RRR = 0.952, P < 0.05) significantly related with lower risk of low BMI. Income inadequacy during the outbreak was found to be positively associated with both underweight (RRR = 1.514, P < 0.05) and overweight (RRR = 1.145, P < 0.05) statuses. Conclusion: The results show the need to understand the dynamics of social backgrounds, such as poverty experience, in order to address the needs and issues of vulnerable older people, particularly during pandemic times.

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