Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Association of Mediterranean diet and other health behaviours with barriers to healthy eating and perceived health among British adults of retirement age

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jose Lara-Gallegos, Professor John Mathers



Objectives: Health behaviours including diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical activity, predict health risks at the population level. We explored health behaviours, barriers to healthy eating and self-rated health among individuals of retirement age.Study design 82 men and 124 women participated in an observational, cross-sectional online survey.Main outcome measures A 14-item Mediterranean diet score (MDPS), perceived barriers to healthy eating (PBHE), self-reported smoking, physical activity habits, and current and prior perceived health status (PHS) were assessed. A health behaviours score (HBS) including smoking, physical activity, body mass index (BMI) and MDPS was created to evaluate associations with PHS. Two-step cluster analysis identified natural groups based on PBHE. Analysis of variance was used to evaluate between group comparisons.Results: PBHE number was associated with BMI (r = 0.28, P < 0.001), age (r = -0.19; P = 0.006), and MDPS (r = 0.31; P < 0.001). PHBE cluster analysis produced three clusters. Cluster-1 members (busy lifestyle) were significantly younger (57 years), more overweight (28 kg/m(2)), scored lower on MDPS (4.7) and reported more PBHE (7). Cluster-3 members (no characteristic PBHE) were leaner (25 kg/m(2)), reported the lowest number of PBHE (2), and scored higher on HBS (2.7) and MDPS (6.2). Those in PHS categories, bad/fair, good, and very good, reported mean HBS of 2.0, 2.4 and 3.0, respectively (P < 0.001). Compared with the previous year, no significant associations between PHS and HBS were observed.Conclusions: PBHE clusters were associated with BMI, MDPS and PHS and could be a useful tool to tailor interventions for those of pen-retirement age. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lara J, McCrum LA, Mathers JC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Maturitas

Year: 2014

Volume: 79

Issue: 3

Pages: 292-298

Print publication date: 01/11/2014

Online publication date: 17/07/2014

Acceptance date: 01/07/2014

Date deposited: 05/08/2015

ISSN (print): 0378-5122

ISSN (electronic): 1873-4111

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2014.07.003


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Health and Social Care Research & Development of the Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland)
Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHW) initiative
Medical Research Council
Wales Office of Research and Development for Health and Social Care
Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health Directorates
Economic and Social Research Council
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)/The Department of Health
G0900686Welsh Assembly Government