Pessimism, diet, and the ability to improve dietary habits: a three-year follow-up study among middle-aged and older Finnish men and women

Show full item record



Nutrition Journal. 2018 Oct 15;17(1):92

Title: Pessimism, diet, and the ability to improve dietary habits: a three-year follow-up study among middle-aged and older Finnish men and women
Author: Pänkäläinen, Mikko; Fogelholm, Mikael; Valve, Raisa; Kampman, Olli; Kauppi, Markku; Lappalainen, Erja; Hintikka, Jukka
Publisher: BioMed Central
Date: 2018-10-15
Abstract: Abstract Background Dietary habits have a great influence on physiological health. Even though this fact is generally recognized, people do not eat as healthily as they know they should. The factors that support a healthy diet, on the other hand, are not well known. It is supposed that there is a link between personal traits and dietary habits. Personal traits may also partially explain why some people manage to make healthy dietary changes while some fail to do so or are not able to try to make changes even when they desire to do so. There is some information suggesting that dispositional optimism plays a role in succeeding in improving dietary habits. The aim of this study was to determine the role of optimism and pessimism in the process of dietary changes. Methods Dispositional optimism and pessimism were determined using the revised Life Orientation Test in 2815 individuals (aged 52–76 years) participating in the GOAL study in the region of Lahti, Finland. The dietary habits of the study subjects were analysed. After 3 years, the subjects’ dietary habits and their possible improvements were registered. The associations between dispositional optimism and pessimism, dietary habits at baseline, and possible changes in dietary habits during the follow-up were studied with logistic regression. We also studied if the dietary habits or certain lifestyle factors (e.g. physical exercising and smoking) at baseline predicted success in improving the diet. Results Pessimism seemed to correlate clearly negatively with the healthiness of the dietary habits at baseline – i.e. the higher the level of pessimism, the unhealthier the diet. Optimism also showed a correlation with dietary habits at baseline, although to a lesser extent. Those who managed to improve their dietary habits during follow-up or regarded their dietary habits as healthy enough even without a change were less pessimistic at baseline than those who failed in their attempts to improve their diet or did not even try, even when they recognized the need for a change. Conclusions Pessimistic people are more likely to eat an unhealthy diet than others. Pessimism reduces independently the possibilities to improve dietary patterns.
Subject: Pessimism
Life orientation test – revised
Dietary habits
Rights: The Author(s).

Files in this item

Total number of downloads: Loading...

Files Size Format View
12937_2018_Article_400.pdf 580.3Kb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record