Does Health Perception, Dietary Habits and Lifestyle Effect Optimism? A Quantitative and Qualitative Study

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2017:988:49-61. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-56246-9_4.


The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between optimism, general health perception, nutritional habits and lifestyle. A quantitative study was conducted on 500 Greek adults. A standardized questionnaire was used which consisted of the General Health Self-Assessment Questionnaire (GHSAQ), the Life Orientation Test-Revised (GrLOT-R), the dietary habits and lifestyle questionnaire. A qualitative study was conducted through interviews and focus groups. Participants' average score of GrLot-R was 20.47 (±4.017) units. The highest GrLot-R score was statistically correlated to more frequent consumption of fruits, salads, dairy products, olive oil, high-fibre cereals and water and to the lower consumption of canned products. Multivariate analysis showed that optimism is significantly positively predicted by the factors "Vitamin K & A", "Vitamin C", and negatively by "Preservatives." There was also a positive correlation between GrLot-R and GHSAQ. The qualitative study analysis showed that physical exercise, duration/quality of sleeping, family and stress affected participants' optimism. It seems that intrinsic factors as vitamins, preservatives, a healthy lifestyle and extrinsic factors as the family background and the environment that someone is raised, affect the level of optimism.

Keywords: Dietary habits; Health; Health self-assessment; Lifestyle; Optimism.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diet*
  • Exercise
  • Greece
  • Healthy Lifestyle*
  • Humans
  • Optimism*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires