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Open AccessArticle

The Psychology of Nutrition with Advancing Age: Focus on Food Neophobia

Research Centre for Behaviour Change, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University, Poole BH12 5BB, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(1), 151;
Received: 1 November 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 12 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Older Individuals' Nutrition)
Many factors impact on eating behaviour and nutritional status in older adults. Strategies can be suggested to combat the impact of these factors, including the development of novel food products, but food neophobia (“the reluctance to eat and/or avoidance of novel foods”) may be a barrier to the acceptance of these foods/products. This work aimed to investigate associations between food neophobia, physical disadvantage, and demographic characteristics in adults over 55 years old. Cross-sectional data from 377 older adults was analysed for relationships between food neophobia scores and physical disadvantage (denture wearing, help with food shopping and/or preparing, and risk of sarcopenia), controlling for age group, gender, living status, education, and employment level. Initial analyses demonstrated higher food neophobia scores in association with denture wearing (Beta = 0.186, p = 0.001). However, when demographic characteristics were also considered, food neophobia scores were no longer related to denture wearing (Beta = 0.069, p = 0.226) but instead were related to a higher age, living alone, and a shorter education (smallest Beta = −0.104, p = 0.048). Food neophobia may thus act as a barrier to the consumption of novel foods/products in those who are of higher age, are living alone, and have a shorter education. View Full-Text
Keywords: food neophobia; older adults; physical disadvantage food neophobia; older adults; physical disadvantage
MDPI and ACS Style

van den Heuvel, E.; Newbury, A.; Appleton, K.M. The Psychology of Nutrition with Advancing Age: Focus on Food Neophobia. Nutrients 2019, 11, 151.

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