Anglia Ruskin Research Online (ARRO)
Warner_2019.pdf (9.5 MB)

The nutritional profile of meals and the association between their glycaemic load and the mood of older adults with and without dementia residing in care homes

Download (9.5 MB)
posted on 2023-08-30, 17:40 authored by Rich S. Warner
Low glycaemic index/glycaemic load (GI/GL) foods offer several health benefits. They avoid large fluctuations of blood glucose levels resulting in improved cognitive function and mood. Currently, most studies examining the association between GL and mood have focused almost exclusively on children and young adults. Both groups present different physiological and lifestyle characteristics to older adults. This observational study examined the relationship between the glycaemic load (GL) and the mood of older adults in care homes, focusing on those with and without dementia, the nutrient offerings as well as the nutrient density and GL relationship. The nutrient content of all meals offered in each care home was analysed using Nutritics Software. The Profile of Mood States (POMS-short form) was used to assess mood after meal consumption. Nutrient density was determined using the UK Ofcom Nutrient Profiling Model. Participants included 147 older adults from four care homes. Descriptive statistics, paired t-test, linear regression, Pearson’s correlation and Cronbach’s alpha, were employed to analyse data. The POMS Total Mood Disturbance (TMD) for the high glycaemic load (HGL) meals=+4.21 and low glycaemic load (LGL) meals= +0.67. t(146)= 4.21 P<.001. Dementia group TMD for HGL (+6.71) and LGL (+2.13). t(74)= 4.79 P<.001. Non-Dementia group TMD for HGL (+1.62) and LGL (-0.9). t(71)= 1.92 P> 0.05 (0.059).The relationship between nutrient density and GL was statistically significant. Overall macronutrient offerings were satisfactory. Fibre and micronutrient offerings for vitamin D, iodine and folates were below the recommended targets. The GL of a meal appears to be associated with the mood outcomes of older adults. This association is more pronounced in those with dementia. Nutrient density and GL of meals appear to be positively associated. GL should be considered in the creation of menus and nutritional guidelines for older residents of care homes as it does appear to impact mood outcomes. More definitive interventional evidence required.



Anglia Ruskin University

File version

  • Accepted version


  • eng

Thesis name

  • PhD

Thesis type

  • Doctoral

Legacy posted date


Legacy creation date


Legacy Faculty/School/Department

Theses from Anglia Ruskin University/Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care

Usage metrics

    ARU Theses


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager