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Open AccessArticle

The Impact of Poor Nutrient Intakes and Food Insecurity on the Psychological Distress among Community-Dwelling Middle-Aged and Older Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Nutritional Sciences Programme and Centre for Healthy Ageing and Wellness (H-CARE), Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, Kuala Lumpur 50300, Malaysia
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Dietetics Programme and Centre for Healthy Ageing and Wellness (H-CARE), Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, Kuala Lumpur 50300, Malaysia
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Physiotherapy Programme and Centre for Healthy Ageing and Wellness (H-CARE), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, Kuala Lumpur 50300, Malaysia
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Health Psychology Programme and Centre for Healthy Ageing and Wellness (H-CARE), Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, Kuala Lumpur 50300, Malaysia
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Biomedical Science Programme and Centre for Healthy Ageing and Wellness (H-CARE), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, Kuala Lumpur 50300, Malaysia
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Occupational Therapy Programme, Centre for Healthy Ageing and Wellness (H-CARE), Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, Kuala Lumpur 50300, Malaysia
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Internal Medicine and Geriatric Department, Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Yaacob Latif, Bandar Tun Razak, Batu 9 Cheras, Kuala Lumpur 56000, Malaysia
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Centre for Healthy Ageing and Wellness (H-CARE), Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, Kuala Lumpur 50300, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Harriët Jager-Wittenaar
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020353
Received: 30 November 2020 / Revised: 12 January 2021 / Accepted: 15 January 2021 / Published: 25 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Malnutrition in Older Adults and COVID-19)
This study aimed to investigate the impact of food insecurity and poor nutrient intake on the psychological health of middle-aged and older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. A sub-sample of 535 individuals aged 52 years and above, from the earlier cohort and interventional studies (n = 4) from four selected states in Peninsular Malaysia, were recruited during the COVID-19 outbreak (April to June 2020). Telephone interviews were conducted by trained interviewers with a health sciences background to obtain participants’ information on health status, physical activity, food security, and psychological health (General Health Questionnaire-12; normal and psychological distress). Univariate analyses were performed for each variable, followed by a logistic regression analysis using SPSS Statistics version 25.0. Results revealed food insecurity (OR = 17.06, 95% CI: 8.24–35.32, p < 0.001), low protein (OR = 0.981, 95% CI: 0.965–0.998, p < 0.05), and fiber intakes (OR = 0.822, 95% CI: 0.695–0.972, p < 0.05) were found to be significant factors associated with the psychological distress group after adjusting for confounding factors. The findings suggested that food insecurity and insufficiencies of protein and fiber intakes heightened the psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Optimal nutrition is vital to ensure the physical and psychological health of the older population, specifically during the current pandemic. View Full-Text
Keywords: psychological distress; older adults; COVID-19; food insecurity; nutrient intake psychological distress; older adults; COVID-19; food insecurity; nutrient intake
MDPI and ACS Style

Malek Rivan, N.F.; Yahya, H.M.; Shahar, S.; Ajit Singh, D.K.; Ibrahim, N.; Mat Ludin, A.F.; Mohamed Sakian, N.I.; Mahadzir, H.; Subramaniam, P.; Kamaruddin, M.Z.A. The Impact of Poor Nutrient Intakes and Food Insecurity on the Psychological Distress among Community-Dwelling Middle-Aged and Older Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Nutrients 2021, 13, 353. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020353

AMA Style

Malek Rivan NF, Yahya HM, Shahar S, Ajit Singh DK, Ibrahim N, Mat Ludin AF, Mohamed Sakian NI, Mahadzir H, Subramaniam P, Kamaruddin MZA. The Impact of Poor Nutrient Intakes and Food Insecurity on the Psychological Distress among Community-Dwelling Middle-Aged and Older Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Nutrients. 2021; 13(2):353. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020353

Chicago/Turabian Style

Malek Rivan, Nurul F.; Yahya, Hanis M.; Shahar, Suzana; Ajit Singh, Devinder K.; Ibrahim, Norhayati; Mat Ludin, Arimi F.; Mohamed Sakian, Noor I.; Mahadzir, Hazlina; Subramaniam, Ponnusamy; Kamaruddin, Mohd Z.A. 2021. "The Impact of Poor Nutrient Intakes and Food Insecurity on the Psychological Distress among Community-Dwelling Middle-Aged and Older Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic" Nutrients 13, no. 2: 353. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020353

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