Individual and collective factors predicting change in diet quality over 3 years in a subset of older men and women from the NuAge cohort
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This study examined individual and collective factors as predictors of change in global diet quality (DQ).
Subjects were 373 older adults (57 % female) aged 68–82 years at recruitment (T1) into the NuAge Cohort Study, and followed for three years. Data were collected by questionnaires, physical performance tests and anthropometric measurements. Diet was assessed at T1 and T4 using three non-consecutive 24-h diet recalls (24HR) and DQ (Canadian Healthy Eating Index), and was computed on the means of the 24HR. DQ change over three years was determined as “DQT4-DQT1”. Baseline (T1) measures significantly correlated with DQ at T1 were entered into backward stepwise linear regression analyses along with selected theoretical constructs and controlled for baseline DQ to determine predictors of change in DQ over 3 years.
Among men, education (p = .009) and sensations of hunger (p = .01) were positive predictors of DQ change over time, while DQ at T1 (p < .0001), cognition (p = .003) and social network (p = .019) were negative predictors (adjusted R 2 = 30.4 %). Finally, among women, diet knowledge (p = .044) was a positive predictor of DQ change, while DQ at T1 (p < .0001) and social network (p = .033) were negative predictors of DQ change over 3 years (adjusted R 2 = 24.1 %).
These results can inform dietary intervention programmes targeting gender-specific determinants of diet quality in older adults.
KeywordsDiet quality Older adults Cohort Determinants Predictors Gender differences
The authors wish to thank the men and women of the NuAge cohort for their generous and enthusiastic participation in the study, and the study personnel for their highly professional and devoted work. The NuAge study was supported by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), Grant number MOP-62,842, and the Quebec Network for Research on Aging, a network funded by the Fonds de Recherche du Québec—Santé. The “Diet Quality” study was funded by CIHR MOP-89792.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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