The relationship between health self-perception, food consumption and nutritional status among Portuguese older adults

Abstract

In Portugal people aged 65 and above will be the populational group with the highest growth rate of the next decades. Healthy ageing constitutes a challenge as not only the number of years lived are essential, but also the quality of life becomes a priority. The aim of this study was to understand the relationship between health self-perception (HSP), food consumption and nutritional status among Portuguese older adults. Four hundred fifty-nine older adults (aged ≥ 65) were interviewed, almost half had a positive HSP. The most significant predictor of HSP was nutritional status, p = 0.005, but independence in shopping had the largest impact on how they compared to others, p < 0.001. Interventions need to focus on factors like nutritional status, independency on Activities of Daily Living, Satisfaction with Food-Related Life and utilize them to modify the negative HSP and attitudes towards ageing and health and maximize the positive aspects of old age.

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Correspondence to Maria Daniel Vaz de Almeida.

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