Cooking frequency may enhance survival in Taiwanese elderly

Rosalind Chia Yu Chen, Meei-Shyuan Lee, Yu Hung Chang, Mark L. Wahlqvist

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    Objective To investigate the association between cooking behaviour and long-term survival among elderly Taiwanese. Design Cohort study. The duration of follow-up was the interval between the date of interview and the date of death or 31 December 2008, when censored for survivors. Information used included demographics, socio-economic status, health behaviours, cooking frequencies, physical function, cognitive function, nutrition knowledge awareness, eating out habits and food and nutrient intakes. These data were linked to death records. Cox proportional-hazards models were used to evaluate cooking frequency on death from 1999 to 2008 with related covariate adjustments. Setting Elderly Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan, 1999-2000. Subjects Nationally representative free-living elderly people aged ≥65 years (n 1888). Results During a 10-year follow-up, 695 participants died. Those who cooked most frequently were younger, women, unmarried, less educated, non-drinkers of alcohol, non-smokers, without chewing difficulty, had spouse as dinner companion, normal cognition, who walked or shopped more than twice weekly, who ate less meat and more vegetables. Highly frequent cooking (>5 times/week, compared with never) predicted survival (hazard ratio (HR) = 0·47; 95 % CI, 0·36, 0·61); with adjustment for physical function, cognitive function, nutrition knowledge awareness and other covariates, HR was 0·59 (95 % CI, 0·41, 0·86). Women benefited more from cooking more frequently than did men, with decreased HR, 51 % v. 24 %, when most was compared with least. A 2-year delay in the assessment of survivorship led to similar findings. Conclusions Cooking behaviour favourably predicts survivorship. Highly frequent cooking may favour women more than men.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1142-1149
    Number of pages8
    JournalPublic Health Nutrition
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


    • Food
    • Gender
    • Health indicators
    • Mortality

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