Changes in food group consumption and associations with self-rated diet, health, life satisfaction, and mental and physical functioning over 5 years in very old Canadian men: the Manitoba Follow-Up Study

J Nutr Health Aging. 2012 Aug;16(8):707-12. doi: 10.1007/s12603-012-0055-7.


Objective: To identify longitudinal food group consumption trends and the relationship to perceived changes in diet, health, and functioning.

Design: A prospective longitudinal study.

Setting: Canada.

Participants: Seven hundred and thirty-six community-dwelling Canadian men (mean age: 2000=79.4 yrs; 2005=84.5 yrs) participating in the Manitoba Follow-up Study.

Measurements: Self-reported food consumption, self-rated diet and health, life satisfaction, physical and mental functioning from questionnaires completed in 2000 and 2005.

Results: The majority of participants did not consume from all four food groups daily, based on Canada's Food Guide recommendations, with only 8% in 2000 and up to 15% in 2005. However, over a five year period, more men improved their consumption in each food group than declined. An association was found between change in the self-rating of the healthiness of their diet and change in consumption of vegetables and fruit, or grain products. Men whose self-rating of the healthiness of their diet remained high or improved between 2000 and 2005, were 2.15 times more likely (95% CI=1.45, 3.17) to also have increased consumption of vegetables and fruit, and 1.71 times more likely (95% CI=1.51, 2.54) to have increased consumption of grain products, relative to men whose self-rating of the healthiness of their diet declined between 2000 and 2005. Men who consumed more food groups daily had better mental and physical component scores.

Conclusion: Dietary improvements are possible in very old men. Greater daily food group consumption is associated with better mental and physical functioning. Given these positive findings, there is still a need to identify older men who require support to improve their dietary habits as nearly half of the participants consumed two or fewer groups daily.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging* / psychology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet* / adverse effects
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Frail Elderly / psychology
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Manitoba
  • Mental Health*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Self Report
  • Veterans Health