A Systematic Review of Behavioural Interventions Promoting Healthy Eating among Older People

Xiao Zhou, Federico J.A. Pérez-Cueto Pérez-Cueto, Quenia dos Santos, Erminio Monteleone, Agnès Giboreau, Katherine Marie Appleton, Thomas Bjørner, Wender Bredie, Heather Hartwell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
195 Downloads (Pure)


Because eating habits are inseparably linked with people’s physical health, effective behaviour interventions are highly demanded to promote healthy eating among older people. The aim of this systematic review was to identify effective diet interventions for older people and provide useful evidence and direction for further research. Three electronic bibliographic databases—PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science Core Collection were used to conduct a systematic literature search based on fixed inclusion and exclusion criteria. English language peer-reviewed journal articles published between 2011 and 2016 were selected for data extraction and quality assessment. Finally, a total of 16 studies were identified. The studies’ duration ranged from three weeks to seven years. The majority of studies were carried out in European countries. Seven studies had a moderate quality while the remaining studies were at a less than moderate level. Three dietary educational interventions and all meal service related interventions reported improvements in older people’s dietary variety, nutrition status, or other health-related eating behaviours. Multicomponent dietary interventions mainly contributed to the reduction of risk of chronic disease. The results supported that older people could achieve a better dietary quality if they make diet-related changes by receiving either dietary education or healthier meal service. Further high-quality studies are required to promote healthy eating among older people by taking regional diet patterns, advanced information technology, and nudging strategies into account.
Original languageEnglish
Article number128
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1-18
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2018


  • Behavioural intervention
  • Healthy eating
  • Older people
  • Systematic review
  • Food Assistance
  • Healthy Diet
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Sciences/education
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Food Services
  • Behavior Therapy/trends
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Quality of Life
  • Elder Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Education as Topic


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