Objective: In this study, we aim to determine the relationship between food consumption, nutritional status, and cognitive functions among the elderly.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional and descriptive study was completed with 150 geriatric outpatients in Erciyes University Hospital. Demographic characteristics of the patients were collected, and the anthropometric measurements were made. Their 24-h food consumption was evaluated using the computer program BeBiS. The Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) and Nutritional Screening Index (NSI) were used to determine the malnutrition risk, whereas the Standardized Mini Mental Test was used to identify the cognitive functions. The obtained data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 22.0; p<0.05 level was considered statistically significant.
Results: While 34.7% of the participants were at risk of malnutrition and 2.7% were malnourished according to MNA; in the NSI evaluation, these rates were determined to be 32.7% and 17.3%, respectively. It could be noted that with the decrease in malnutrition risk, language and orientation scores in cognitive function assessment increased. When the relationship between food consumption and cognitive function was analyzed, it was observed that participants with high protein, fat, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C consumption have normal cognitive function.
Conclusion: It has been determined that the various macro- and micronutrient consumption of the elderly can have sub-stantial effects on their cognitive functions. Besides, the increasing risk of malnutrition was determined to be related to the decrease in cognitive functions. Therefore, it is essential to ensure adequate and balanced nutrient intake among the elderly and to determine the malnutrition risk with regular screenings, in order to make appropriate interventions when necessary.