European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 1671–1681 | Cite as

Individual and collective factors predicting change in diet quality over 3 years in a subset of older men and women from the NuAge cohort

  • Bryna ShatensteinEmail author
  • Lise Gauvin
  • Heather Keller
  • Lucie Richard
  • Pierrette Gaudreau
  • Francine Giroux
  • Mira Jabbour
  • José A. Morais
  • Hélène Payette
Original Contribution



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.


Diet 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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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bryna Shatenstein
    • 1
    • 2
    • 12
    Email author
  • Lise Gauvin
    • 3
    • 4
  • Heather Keller
    • 5
  • Lucie Richard
    • 6
    • 7
  • Pierrette Gaudreau
    • 4
    • 8
  • Francine Giroux
    • 2
  • Mira Jabbour
    • 2
  • José A. Morais
    • 9
  • Hélène Payette
    • 10
    • 11
  1. 1.Département de nutritionUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Centre de rechercheInstitut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, CIUSSS du Centre-est-de-l’Île-de-MontréalMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Département de médecine sociale et préventiveUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  4. 4.Centre de Recherche du Centre hospitalier de l’Université de MontréalMontrealCanada
  5. 5.Department of KinesiologyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  6. 6.Faculté des Sciences InfirmièresUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  7. 7.Institut de recherche en santé publique de l’Université de MontréalMontrealCanada
  8. 8.Département de médecineUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  9. 9.Division of Geriatric MedicineMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  10. 10.Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santéUniversité de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada
  11. 11.Centre de recherche sur le vieillissementCIUSSS de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada
  12. 12.Centre de rechercheInstitut universitaire de gériatrie de MontréalMontrealCanada

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