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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030463

Assessing the Association of Food Preferences and Self-Reported Psychological Well-Being among Middle-Aged and Older Adults in Contemporary China-Results from the China Health and Nutrition Survey

1
Department of Applied Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
2
Department of Political Science, Department of Statistics, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
3
Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA 02118, USA
4
Center for General Education, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu City 300, Taiwan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 4 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 March 2018 / Published: 7 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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Abstract

China has undergone rapid social transitions within the last few decades. However, mental health issues, challenges to psychological well-being, and poor dietary choices have gradually surfaced. These health concerns are related to the rapid growth of the aging population and of the fast-paced industrialized society. Nevertheless, there is little knowledge about food preferences and psychological well-being measurements in contemporary China. Applying the 2011 China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) with a cross-sectional study design (n = 7970), we conducted multinomial logistic regression models to investigate the associations of food preferences, including fast food, salty snacks, fruits, vegetables, and sweetened beverages, with psychological well-being among Chinese middle-aged and older adults (age ≥ 45). Food preferences are mostly associated with psychological well-being (p < 0.05). However, respondents’ preferences regarding fast food, salty snacks, and sweetened beverages are associated not only with poorer psychological health status, but also with positive psychological well-being. We speculate that Chinese older adults may consume Westernized fast food and salty snacks as pleasure to the palate due to the recent Westernization in modern China. We also provide practical implications of results from this preliminary study. View Full-Text
Keywords: food preferences; psychological well-being; China; aging; dietary behaviors food preferences; psychological well-being; China; aging; dietary behaviors
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Lee, Y.-H.; Shelley, M.; Liu, C.-T.; Chang, Y.-C. Assessing the Association of Food Preferences and Self-Reported Psychological Well-Being among Middle-Aged and Older Adults in Contemporary China-Results from the China Health and Nutrition Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 463.

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