The contribution of the various food groups to the nutrient intakes of a group of independently-living elderly individuals in Toronto is described. The pattern of meal and food intakes generally provided enough of the nutrients, excepting calcium, to meet the Recommended Nutrient Intakes for Canadians. Mean energy intake was low. It is suggested that if relatively small amounts of the foods ingested at the different meals are raised, it will likely provide enough energy and all the nutrients to satisfy the recommended levels of intake.
In a group of 528 men, 30-54 years old, answers to various questions about dietary habits given in a questionnaire were compared to corresponding information given in a dietary history interview two years later. High concordance was found between the two methods for questions concerning types of foods most commonly used. For most food items, the mean intake according to the dietary recall corresponds well with intake reported in the questionnaire. For food items used every day in easily recorded units (slices of bread, cups of coffee, glasses of milk), the frequency questionnaire can be used to rank individuals according to consumption. For other food items, the concordance is less satisfactory.
The nutritional adequacy of commercial baby foods is assessed from data derived from a longitudinal nutrition survey of 400 infants in Canada. On the average, the nutrient intakes from infant food meet or exceed the recommended daily allowances for most nutrients. Most infants would not be able to meet the minimum daily requirements for iron, B vitamins, or calcium if infant cereals were not fortified.
A community-based nutrition monitoring system is an information system to generate, on a regular basis, an integrated picture of the nutritious condition of a community for local decision-makers. Community-based nutrition monitoring is an extension of international nutrition surveillance and national nutrition monitoring work to the community level where much of the substantive nutrition activity happens. It represents a constructive integration of familiar concepts related to needs assessment, evaluation and program management information systems. The objectives of community-based nutrition monitoring are to provide, in a timely manner, information pertinent to program targeting, funding, priority-setting decisions; to inform and educate decision-makers and enhance the visibility of nutrition-related activities in the community and to provide a vehicle for community-wide nutrition planning. Information about food access, the needs of specific life-cycle or risk groups and chronic disease prevention can all be part of a monitoring system. The specific foci of a system depend on the policy and programming decisions actually or potentially made in the specific community. The monitoring system utilizes multiple simple indicators collected routinely and reported on a regular basis. The development of such a system is a multi-year, inter-agency effort. It presents significant challenges and opportunities to local nutritionists.