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Ready-meal consumption in older people: association with obesity and dietary intake



To investigate ready-meal consumption trends in older French people, its association with overall diet quality and obesity.


Cross-sectional analysis


Multidomain Alzheimer Preventive Trial (MAPT), France


421 MAPT participants (mean age 76.8 years) who filled a food frequency questionnaire.


The frequency of ready-meal consumption was low, with nearly 90% of participants declaring consuming ≤ 1 ready-meal per week. Compared to non- and low-consumers (≤ 1 ready-meal/week), regular consumers (≥ 2 ready-meals/week) were older (p < 0.01), more often frail and pre-frail (p 0.04), with impaired cognition (p = 0.02) and functional status (p = 0.02), with more depressive symptoms (p = 0.03) and more difficulties with preparing meals (p = 0.01). Results from multivariate analyses showed that regular ready-meal consumption was not associated with obesity (p = 0.26) and diet quality (p = 0.37).


In our sample, few older people declared consumption of 2 or more ready-meals per week, this consumption was not associated with a higher prevalence of obesity or a lower diet quality, despite the fact that these subject were older, with a lower physical and cognitive status. These findings suggest that, for these people with difficulties in meal preparation, convenience foods consumed occasionally could help to maintain diet quality and weight status.

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MAPT/DSA Group refers to MAPT Study Group: Principal investigator: Bruno Vellas (Toulouse); Coordination: Sophie Guyonnet; Project leader: Isabelle Carrié; CRA: Lauréane Brigitte; Investigators: Catherine Faisant, Françoise Lala, Julien Delrieu, Hélène Villars; Psychologists: Emeline Combrouze, Carole Badufle, Audrey Zueras; Methodology, statistical analysis and data management: Sandrine Andrieu, Christelle Cantet, Christophe Morin; Multidomain group: Gabor Abellan Van Kan, Charlotte Dupuy, Yves Rolland (physical and nutritional components), Céline Caillaud, Pierre- Jean Ousset (cognitive component), Françoise Lala (preventive consultation), Bertrand. Fougère (Toulouse). The cognitive component was designed in collaboration with Sherry Willis from the University of Seattle, and Sylvie Belleville, Brigitte Gilbert and Francine Fontaine from the University of Montreal. Co-Investigators in associated centres: Jean-François Dartigues, Isabelle Marcet, Fleur Delva, Alexandra Foubert, Sandrine Cerda (Bordeaux); Marie-Noëlle-Cuffi, Corinne Costes (Castres); Olivier Rouaud, Patrick Manckoundia, Valérie Quipourt, Sophie Marilier, Evelyne Franon (Dijon); Lawrence Bories, Marie-Laure Pader, Marie-France Basset, Bruno Lapoujade, Valérie Faure, Michael Li Yung Tong, Christine Malick-Loiseau, Evelyne Cazaban-Campistron (Foix); Françoise Desclaux, Colette Blatge (Lavaur); Thierry Dantoine, Cécile Laubarie-Mouret, Isabelle Saulnier, Jean-Pierre Clément, Marie-Agnès Picat, Laurence Bernard-Bourzeix, Stéphanie Willebois, Iléana Désormais, Noëlle Cardinaud (Limoges); Marc Bonnefoy, Pierre Livet, Pascale Rebaudet, Claire Gédéon, Catherine Burdet, Flavien Terracol (Lyon), Alain Pesce, Stéphanie Roth, Sylvie Chaillou, Sandrine Louchart (Monaco); Kristelle Sudres, Nicolas Lebrun, Nadège Barro-Belaygues (Montauban); Jacques Touchon, Karim Bennys, Audrey Gabelle, Aurélia Romano, Lynda Touati, Cécilia Marelli, Cécile Pays (Montpellier); Philippe Robert, Franck Le Duff, Claire Gervais, Sébastien Gonfrier (Nice); Yves Gasnier and Serge Bordes, Danièle Begorre, Christian Carpuat, Khaled Khales, Jean-François Lefebvre, Samira Misbah El Idrissi, Pierre Skolil, Jean-Pierre Salles (Tarbes). MRI group: Carole Dufouil (Bordeaux), Stéphane Lehéricy, Marie Chupin, Jean-François Mangin, Ali Bouhayia (Paris); Michèle Allard (Bordeaux); Frédéric Ricolfi (Dijon); Dominique Dubois (Foix); Marie Paule Bonceour Martel (Limoges); François Cotton (Lyon); Alain Bonafé (Montpellier); Stéphane Chanalet (Nice); Françoise Hugon (Tarbes); Fabrice Bonneville, Christophe Cognard, François Chollet (Toulouse). PET scans group: Pierre Payoux, Thierry Voisin, Julien Delrieu, Sophie Peiffer, Anne Hitzel, (Toulouse); Michèle Allard (Bordeaux); Michel Zanca (Montpellier); Jacques Monteil (Limoges); Jacques Darcourt (Nice). Medico-economics group: Laurent Molinier, Hélène Derumeaux, Nadège Costa (Toulouse). Biological sample collection: Christian Vincent, Bertrand Perret, Claire Vinel (Toulouse). Safety management : Pascale Olivier-Abbal. DSA Group: Sandrine Andrieu, Stéphanie Savy, Christelle Cantet, Nicola Coley.


“The MAPT study was supported by grants from the Gérontopôle of Toulouse, the French Ministry of Health (PHRC 2008, 2009), Pierre Fabre Research Institute (manufacturer of the omega-3 supplement), Exhonit Therapeutics SA, Avid Radiopharmaceuticals Inc and in part by a grant from the French National Agency for Research called “Investissements d’Avenir” n°ANR-11-LABX-0018-01. The promotion of this study was supported by the University Hospital Center of Toulouse. The data sharing Activity was supported by the Association Monegasque pour la Recherche sur la maladie d’Alzheimer (AMPA) and the UMR 1027 Unit INSERM-University of Toulouse III”.

Author information





The authors’ responsibilities were as follows—SA, SG and BV: conceptualized MAPT study; GS: designed and led the present study, analyzed the data, wrote the first draft of the manuscript; and all authors: read and approved the final manuscript. None of the authors reported a conflict of interest related to the study.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Gaëlle Soriano.

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All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest related to this paper.

Statement of human and animal rights

This study was conducted according to the guidelines laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki and all procedures involving human subjects/patients were approved by the French ethical committee of the CPP SOOM II (Comité de Protection des Personnes Sud-Ouest & Outre-Mer II).

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Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects.

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Soriano, G., De Barreto, P.S., Rolland, Y. et al. Ready-meal consumption in older people: association with obesity and dietary intake. Aging Clin Exp Res 31, 855–861 (2019).

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  • Ready-meal
  • Obesity
  • Older
  • Diet quality
  • Cooking difficulty