Impact of elderly masticatory performance on nutritional status: An observational study

Luca Aquilanti, Sonila Alia, Sofia Pugnaloni, Erminia Coccia, Marco Mascitti, Andrea Santarelli, Luisa Limongelli, Gianfranco Favia, Margherita Mancini, Arianna Vignini, Giorgio Rappelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objectives: Masticatory limitations on the dietary habits of edentulous subjects restrict their access to adequate nutrition, exposing them to a greater risk of protein energy malnutrition. The aim of this study is to verify the existence of an association between Masticatory Performance (MP) and nutritional changes in the elderly. Materials and Methods: 76 participants were enrolled. MP testing was performed using the two-color chewing gum mixing test. The system used reveals the extent to which the two differently colored chewing gums mix, and allows discrimination between different MPs. The assessment of the participants’ nutritional statuses was carried out through a food interview. Anthropometric parameters were collected, and bioimpedance analysis was performed. Results: Mean MP was 0.448 ± 0.188. No statistically significant differences were detected between male and female subjects (p > 0.05). According to the Body Mass Index (BMI), obese patients had a lower MP than overweight and normal weight subjects (0.408 ± 0.225, 0.453 ± 0.169 and 0.486 ± 0.181, respectively). MP values were lower both in male and female subjects with a waist circumference above the threshold than those below it (0.455 ± 0.205 vs. 0.476 ± 0.110, respectively, in males and 0.447 ± 0.171 vs. 0.501 ± 0.138, respectively, in females). No relationship was noticed between MP and bioimpedance parameters (p > 0.05). Conclusions: A statistically significant relation was observed between MP and the number of missing teeth. A reduced MP could worsen nutritional parameters. A reduced MP did not seem to negatively affect bioimpedance parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Bioimpedance
  • BMI
  • Masticatory performance
  • Resistance
  • Waist circumference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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