Gender Differences in Physical Performance, Body Composition, and Dietary Intake in Homebound Elders Academic Article uri icon


  • Considering that the most vulnerable subgroup of elders for poor nutritional status and functional decline is the increasing number of homebound women, we examined gender differences in physical performance, body composition, and dietary intake in a randomly recruited sample of 345 homebound elders (81% women, 48% black, > 65% income < $750/month). After controlling for demographic and health-related factors, the results from multivariate analyses indicated that women were more likely than men to report the lowest nutrient intake and were 2.9 times more likely to be at the worst level of overall physical performance. These results suggest a heightened vulnerability of homebound older women to poor physical performance, low dietary intake, and increased Body Mass Index (BMI). Prospective research is now needed to examine the interrelationships between physical performance, dietary intake, and body composition among the growing homebound older population.

author list (cited authors)

  • Sharkey, J. R., & Branch, L. G.

citation count

  • 15

publication date

  • November 2004