From February 2017, information about the work of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow is available and updated on the University of Glasgow website.

What Influences Diet in Early Old Age?

Examination of links between diet and disease has tended to focus on specific constituent-disease associations. In terms of policy formation, this is less useful than an evaluation of the overall health benefits of a dietary pattern. Tracing the surviving members of the Boyd Orr cohort led to a project, funded by Research into Ageing and the ESRC, on the methodology of assessing diet quality and the factors influencing diet in early old age. Diet in old age was associated with childhood vegetable consumption, current socio-economic position and smoking.



Maynard MJ, Gunnell D, Ness A, Abraham L, Bates C, Blane D. What influences diet in early old age? Prospective and cross-sectional analyses of the Boyd Orr cohort. European Journal of Public Health 2006;16:315-323

pubmed  open access  


Maynard MJ, Ness AR, Abraham L, Blane D, Bates C, Gunnell DJ. Selecting a healthy diet score: lessons from a study of diet and health in early old age (the Boyd Orr cohort). Public Health Nutrition 2005;8:321-326



Blane D, Abraham L, Gunnell D, Maynard M, Ness A. Background influences on dietary choice in early old age. Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health 2003;123:204-209



Maynard MJ. Healthy diet at post-retirement ages: a life course perspective. Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health 2002;122:142-143


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  • Constituent-disease associations The relationship between any aspect of the diet (e.g. vitamin C or fibre) and a disease such as heart disease or cancer
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