Nutritional Status

A study looking at the nutritional status of senior housing residents in Chicago found that the nutritional quality of the Korean American elders’ diets was poorer than the other two groups, the Chinese and Japanese Americans:

  • Large percentage of Korean elders with diets low in calories, calcium, vitamins A and C and riboflavin;
  • 25% of the Korean women 60 years and older in the study consumed less than 67% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein (Kim et al., 1993);
  • The traditional Korean diet is very high in salt. In traditional Korean meals, numerous small servings or side dishes of preserved foods are served. These foods are usually pickled in brine or have been packed in salt and lightly rinsed.

This high salt diet predisposes to hypertension, and is especially troublesome when patients with congestive heart failure are noncompliant with their dietary restrictions.