The Nutrient and Metabolic Study of Indonesian Elderly (NUMSIE) was conducted in part to identify differences in eating patterns and in food and energy intakes between elderly people residing in urban metropolitan Jakarta (JAK) and in urban non-metropolitan Semarang (SEM) in order to investigate the prevalence of food and energy deficiencies. Data on food intake were collected from 212 JAK elderly and 238 SEM elderly aged 60 years and over using a quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Although most of the elderly lived with their families or extended families, a large proportion of the subjects were eating alone, especially in the SEM sample. Jakartan elderly had significantly higher intakes of most food groups, except for added sugar and cow's milk. Total food intake of JAK subjects was also significantly higher (p<0.0001) than that of SEM subjects. The ratio of plant to animal food was lower among SEM elderly due principally to their higher intake of milk. Thirty percent of both JAK and SEM elderly consumed less than the recommended amounts of cereals, followed by vegetables and fruits (10%, 47% JAK; 22%, 75% SEM, respectively). Finally, it was found that the range of daily energy intakes was higher in JAK (1251-2079 kcal) than in SEM (939-1579 kcal). This suggests that SEM elderly were more likely to be energy deficient than were JAK elderly. While the results of this study indicate that food and energy intakes may be inadequate in Indonesian elderly, especially in non-metropolitan areas, more analyses are required to ascertain the true prevalence of malnutrition in this age group using anthropometric and blood measurements.