Korean J Fam Pract.  2021 Dec;11(6):457-463. 10.21215/kjfp.2021.11.6.457.

Association between Eating with Others and Participation Rate in National Health Screening in the Elderly by Household Type Using the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2016–2018

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Ilsan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea

Abstract

Background
The number of elderly individuals, who are mostly excluded from society and reside in relatively poor conditions, living and eating alone is increasing. Eating meals with others is a good opportunity for elderly individuals to form a social support system, thereby promoting behaviors related to maintaining health. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the association between eating meals with others and health screening by household type.
Methods
In total, 2,504 adults aged ≥65 years participated in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2016–2018. Characteristic differences between the participants were analyzed using the chi-square test. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to analyze the association between eating meals with others and health screening after adjusting for covariates.
Results
According to the characteristics of the study population based on eating with others and eating alone by household type, elderly individuals living alone who ate meals with others were more likely to have good self-rated health, exercise regularly, and undergo health screening. In a multivariable logistic regression analysis of eating meals with others and health screening by household type, eating meals with others was significantly associated with health screening in elderly individuals living alone (odds ratio, 1.606; 95% confidence interval, 1.034–2.496).
Conclusion
We found that eating meals with others was related to health screening in elderly individuals living alone. However, more research on whether eating meals with others has a positive effect on health behavior in elderly individuals living alone is needed.

Keyword

Eating with Others; Health Screening; Elderly; One-Person Household
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