Dining out is a recipe for unhealthy eating most of the time, study shows
The prevalence of distress was highest among the poorest respondents; One in three older adults who had a household income under $20,000 per year were in distress.
"It is not surprising that those in poverty were in such high levels of distress: Poverty is a chronic and debilitating stressor. It can often be challenging even to pay one's rent and put healthy food on the table. Poverty may also result in poorer housing and neighborhood quality, and greater residential turnover which are also stress-inducing," says co-author Yu Lung, a doctoral student at FIFSW.
The study also found that immigrant women living in Canada less than 20 years had a higher prevalence of distress than women who were Canadian-born residents (21% vs 14%).
Unfortunately, this survey did not identify the reasons for the greater distress among immigrant women, but we hypothesize that it may be due to the difficulties of resettling in a new country, such as language barriers, financial strain, complications of having one's qualifications recognized, distance from family and other social support networks and perceived discrimination." Hongmei Tong, co-author, Assistant Professor of Social Work at MacEwan University in Edmonton
"Although immigrant men also face many of these settlement problems, they were not at elevated risk of distress compared to their Canadian-born peers," says co-author Karen Kobayashi, Professor in the Department of Sociology and a Research Affiliate at the Institute on Aging & Lifelong Health at the University of Victoria. "One idea we hope to explore in future research is whether these gender differences could be due to the fact that the husbands initiated the immigration process and the wives may have had limited or no say in the decision to leave their homeland."
The study team analyzed data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging which included 25,834 men and women aged 45-85 years. The article was published this month in the Journal of Affective Disorders .
"The team's findings suggest that policies and health care practices should aim to reduce nutrition risk, improve diet quality, address chronic pain and health problems and poverty among those experiencing poor mental health," adds Dr. Davison. "Given that mental health conditions place a large burden of disability worldwide, such program and policy changes are becoming critically important." Source:
University of Toronto Journal reference:
Davison, K.M., et al. (2020) Psychological distress in older adults linked to immigrant status, dietary intake, and physical health conditions in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA). Journal of Affective Disorders . doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.01.024 .
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