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The Relationships among Satisfaction with Food-Related Life, Depression, Isolation, Social Support, and Overall Satisfaction of Life in Elderly South Koreans

재가 노인의 삶에서의 음식 만족도와 우울, 고독감, 사회적지지, 생활만족도와의 관계

  • Seo, Sunhee (Dept. of Nutritional Sciences & Food Management, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Cho, Misook (Dept. of Nutritional Sciences & Food Management, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Kim, Yuri (Dept. of Nutritional Sciences & Food Management, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Ahn, Jiyoon (Dept. of Nutritional Sciences & Food Management, Ewha Womans University)
  • 서선희 (이화여자대학교 식품영양학과) ;
  • 조미숙 (이화여자대학교 식품영양학과) ;
  • 김유리 (이화여자대학교 식품영양학과) ;
  • 안지윤 (이화여자대학교 식품영양학과)
  • Received : 2013.03.06
  • Accepted : 2013.03.28
  • Published : 2013.05.02

Abstract

Food is an essential component of good health and a high quality of life. This is especially true for the elderly, where health and quality of life can vary due to eating issues. This study attempts to measure the satisfaction with food-related life in the elderly of South Korea, while examining differences in social support, depression, isolation, and life satisfaction based on the level of satisfaction with food-related life. Data collection was conducted using one-on-one surveys from December 2011 to January 2012. A total of 390 elderly (aged 65 and over) who live in Korea participated in this study. The results showed that the satisfaction with food-related life was high (3.52 out of 5). The elderly who had company during a meal or a meal preparer showed a higher satisfaction with their food-related life. Social support was high (5.32 out of 7) and the feelings of isolation were low (3.85 out of 5). The average satisfaction with life was 4.42 out of 7, indicating a fair satisfaction with life, while the average depression score was relatively low (8.77 out of 26). In general, the elderly with a higher satisfaction with food-related life had a higher social support and overall satisfaction with their life. On the other hand, the elderly with a lower satisfaction with food-related life generally reported higher levels of depression and isolation. A positive correlation was observed between satisfaction with food-related life, social support, and satisfaction of life, while a negative correlation was found between satisfaction with food-related life, isolation, and depression. The results of this study indicate that managing the satisfaction with food-related life is an important component of mental health in the elderly.

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