Eating out may increase depression in the elderly

Last month, Taiwanese researchers published a study inĀ The Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics investigating a link between mental health and eating habits of elderly people.

The researchers studied the mental health and eating habits of nearly 1,200 individuals over the age of 64, specifically depression and eating out.

What the researchers found was that elderly people who eat out are more likely to have symptoms of depression than those who do not. As well, the more frequently the subjects ate out, the higher the likelihood they would have depression symptoms. In fact, just one additional meal away from home was associated with a increase of 3.8 percentage points in the likelihood of having depression symptoms.


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  • Lynn

    As an elder who enjoys occasional meals out, I’d want to know more about this research. For example, there may be big cultural differences in the social implications of “eating out” for Taiwanese elders compared to Americans. Does the study distinguish effects of choosing nutritionally deficient fast food vs. a balanced meal at a proper restaurant? Many other questions could be raised.

    • Truehope

      Sorry for not providing a link to the study in the article. We have remedied that. Hopefully, you can find more information there.