Nutritional Status of Elderly in Urban and Rural North Sumatera, Indonesia
One measure of the progress of a nation is the expectancy of inhabitants, especially for the elderly. One of the primary efforts made for the elderly to achieve the quality of life and to remain reasonable is by eating nutritious and diverse foods as well as maintaining nutritional status in a balance condition. The fulfillment of nutritional needs can help in the process of adapting or adjusting to the changes they experienced and can maintain the continuity of body cell changes so that they can prolong life. Generally, support and attention from family members are needed by the elderly, especially in their food consumption. This research applied a qualitative method with a cross-sectional design. This research was conducted in Titi Kuning Village (representing urban areas) and in Ranto Baek Village (representing rural areas). Sampling was carried out using inclusion criteria with the criteria, not dementia, not lying sick, and being able to stretch both hands. Total sampling used in this study, 108 people from the village of Ranto Baek, and 438 people from Titi Kuning village became the sample of this research. As a result of the frequency distribution of urban and rural elder's knowledge about nutritional needs, most urban participants have good knowledge; totally, 251 participants (57.3%) and rural participants have sufficient knowledge, a total of 44 participants (40.7%). The results of the frequency distribution of the urban and rural elderly on eating patterns indicated that both urban and rural participants have a good eating pattern total 282 (64.4%) for urban participants and 85 (77%) for rural participants. In addition, frequency distribution results of the nutritional status of urban and rural elders show that many urban participants have good nutritional status, i.e., 213 (48.6%) and rural participants have heavy weight-loss nutritional status as many as 61 participants (58%). This study found that the knowledge, eating pattern, and nutritional status of participants in the city all were good, whereas the knowledge of the participants in the village was sufficient; the nutritional status was a heavyweight loss, yet the eating pattern was good. The difference between rural and urban communities is due to the influence of participants' insight, the neighborhood, the mass media, and the information available. The results of this study can be a reference for the initial material to conduct further research related to the regulation of balanced nutrition for the elderly.
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