Because of an increase in the number of elderly and the problems of nutrition associated with them, we considered it of interest to study the eating habits of 352 elderly persons (134 males and 218 females) 65 to 95 years of age in an urban area in the north of Spain (Oviedo). The purpose of this study was specifically to describe the differences in the eating habits of elderly institutionalized persons and those resident at home and to detect the nutritional status of 161 subjects living in institutions and 191 living at home. The weight, height, body mass index (BMI), and triceps skinfold (PTP) of each were recorded. To determine the eating habits, a questionnaire measuring the frequency of food consumption was distributed to the subjects. The mean age of the institutionalized elderly was greater than those living independently. The mean values of BMI indicated overweight in all cases, with values around those of obesity in independent females (BMI = 29.97). The value of PTP was found to be within normal limits, but a greater percentage of institutionalized subjects showed PTP values of less than P10 (males, 10.2%; females, 11%). Food habits showed that the consumption of fish and margarine/oil was greater in institutionalized subjects of both sexes. Independent males consumed more vegetables; females consumed more milk and greens. Milk, vegetables, fruit, and fish were the food groups with consumption frequencies less than those recommended. A greater percentage of noncompliance was seen among the institutionalized elderly.