Studies show that fruit and vegetable intakes are essential in maintaining a healthy diet among older people. Evidence has indicated that older people with more social relationships are more likely to have a healthier diet. In this study, a national representative sample was used to investigate the association between social relationship and fruit and vegetable intakes among the elderly in Taiwan.
Data are taken from the “2004-2008 Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan (NAHSIT).” Participants aged 45 or over in 2004 were selected from the surveyed respondents for analysis. A total of 1386 subjects were selected. Logistic regression models were used to explore factors associated with adequate fruit and vegetable intake.
Results show that participants with high education attainment and were having meals with others (compared to eating alone) were more likely to have an adequate fruit and vegetable intake.
Based on these results, we recommend that media campaigns in promoting the benefits of fruit-vegetable intake. More community resources should be devoted to prevent older adults from eating meals alone. Programs to encourage older people to participate in social activities in order to increase the adequacy of intake.