Is a Positive Attitude Towards Ageing Associated with Diet in Middle-aged Cantabrians?
Background: New Zealand’s ageing population is rapidly growing and with this comes an increasing need to improve the health of older adults. Middle-age has been identified as an ideal time to implement lifestyle changes, such as diet, to improve health in later years. A healthier diet, higher in fruits and vegetables can improve health and lead to more positive attitudes. Specifically, antioxidants, vitamin C and fibre have been given some attention with regards to brain health and quality of life (QoL). The attitudes to ageing questionnaire (AAQ) is a subjective measure used to determine individual’s perceptions on their experience of ageing. Attitudes to ageing may positively affect health and life expectancy in older age.Objective: To investigate if a healthier diet, determined by higher intakes of antioxidants, vitamin C and fibre, is associated with more positive attitudes to ageing in 50-year-old Cantabrians.Design: Cross-sectional study using data collected for the Canterbury Health, Ageing and Life Course (CHALICE) study. Participants included in this study were 50-year-olds residing within the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) area. Attitudes to ageing were measured using the validated AAQ and relevant nutrient intakes were collected using a four-day food record diary. Beta-carotene, vitamin E, selenium, vitamin C and fibre, were assessed for their effect on the AAQ using linear regression and ANOVA. Both univariate and multiple regression models were fitted. Estimates, confidence intervals and P values were calculated.Results: Of the 404 participants in the wider CHALICE study, 293 (72.5 %) completed the four-day food diary and were included in analysis. In this cohort, having a high socioeconomic status (SES), being in a relationship and having a lower body mass index (BMI) were all associated with greater AAQ scores (11.21, 95 % CI 5.93 – 16.48); (3.65,95 % CI 0.66 – 6.65); (-0.26, 95 % CI -0.46 – -0.05), respectively. Both selenium and vitamin C intakes were associated with more positive attitudes to ageing on the psychological growth subscale (0.1, 95 % CI 0.00 – 0.2) and (0.1; 95 % CI 0.00 – 0.1), and this remained significant after adjustment. Vitamin C was also associated with more positive attitudes on the physical change subscale, however this no longer remained significant after adjustment. Beta-carotene, vitamin E and fibre were not associated with any measures of attitudes to ageing.Conclusion: SES, being in a stable relationship and having a healthy BMI are associated with positive attitudes to aging. We observed more modest associations between selenium, vitamin C and positive attitudes to aging, therefore confirmation is required in further studies.
Advisor: Skidmore, Paula; Pearson, John; Gearry, Richard
Degree Name: Master of Dietetics
Degree Discipline: Human Nutrition
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: New Zealand; Attitudes; Ageing; Diet; Middle-aged; Cantabrians; antioxidants; fibre
Research Type: Thesis