Skip to main content

Cooking frequency may enhance survival in Taiwanese elderly

  • Rosalind Chia-Yu Chen (a1), Meei-Shyuan Lee (a2) (a3), Yu-Hung Chang (a4) and Mark L Wahlqvist (a1) (a2) (a3)
Abstract Objective

To investigate the association between cooking behaviour and long-term survival among elderly Taiwanese.


Cohort study. The duration of follow-up was the interval between the date of interview and the date of death or 31 December 2008, when censored for survivors. Information used included demographics, socio-economic status, health behaviours, cooking frequencies, physical function, cognitive function, nutrition knowledge awareness, eating out habits and food and nutrient intakes. These data were linked to death records. Cox proportional-hazards models were used to evaluate cooking frequency on death from 1999 to 2008 with related covariate adjustments.


Elderly Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan, 1999–2000.


Nationally representative free-living elderly people aged ≥65 years (n 1888).


During a 10-year follow-up, 695 participants died. Those who cooked most frequently were younger, women, unmarried, less educated, non-drinkers of alcohol, non-smokers, without chewing difficulty, had spouse as dinner companion, normal cognition, who walked or shopped more than twice weekly, who ate less meat and more vegetables. Highly frequent cooking (>5 times/week, compared with never) predicted survival (hazard ratio (HR) = 0·47; 95 % CI, 0·36, 0·61); with adjustment for physical function, cognitive function, nutrition knowledge awareness and other covariates, HR was 0·59 (95 % CI, 0·41, 0·86). Women benefited more from cooking more frequently than did men, with decreased HR, 51 % v. 24 %, when most was compared with least. A 2-year delay in the assessment of survivorship led to similar findings.


Cooking behaviour favourably predicts survivorship. Highly frequent cooking may favour women more than men.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Cooking frequency may enhance survival in Taiwanese elderly
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Cooking frequency may enhance survival in Taiwanese elderly
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Cooking frequency may enhance survival in Taiwanese elderly
      Available formats
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email
Hide All
1. Rowe JW & Kahn RL (1997) Successful ageing. Gerontologist 37, 433440.
2. Strawbridge WJ, Wallhagen MI & Cohen RD (2002) Successful ageing and well-being: self-rated compared with Rowe and Kahn. Gerontologist 42, 727733.
3. World Health Organization (2011) Healthy ageing is vital for development. (accessed August 2011).
4. Zanjani FA, Schaie KW & Willis SL (2003) Predicting mortality using eight health behaviors domains. Gerontologist 43, 333334.
5. Chenhall C (2010) Improving cooking and food preparation skills: a synthesis of the evidence to inform program and policy. (accessed October 2011).
6. Wahlqvist ML (2009) Connected Community and Household Food Based Strategy (CCH-FBS): its importance for health, food safety, sustainability and security in diverse localities. Ecol Food Nutr 48, 457481.
7. Wahlqvist M (2011) Nutrition in adulthood. In Food and Nutrition: Food and Health Systems in Australia and New Zealand, pp. 469472. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.
8. Wahlqvist M (2002) Asian migration to Australia: food and health consequences. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 11, Suppl. 3, S562S568.
9. Park SM, Jang SN & Kim DH (2010) Gender differences as factors in successful ageing: a focus on socioeconomic status. J Biosoc Sci 42, 99111.
10. Wang YJ (2009) The phenomenon of Fu, Pei-Mei: the economy and community change in Taiwan 1960s. Master Thesis, Feng Chia University.
11. Stewart H, Blisard N & Jolliffe D (2006) Let's Eat Out. Americans Weigh Taste, Convenience, and Nutrition. Economic Information Bulletin no. EIB-19. Washington, DC: USDA, Economic Research Service.
12. Chang YH, Chen RCY, Wahlqvist ML et al. (2011) Frequent shopping by men and women increases survival in the older Taiwanese population. J Epidemiol Community Health (Epublication ahead of print version).
13. Pan WH, Hung YT, Shaw SS et al. (2005) Elderly nutrition and health survey in Taiwan (1999–2000): research design, methodology and content. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 14, 203210.
14. Pfeiffer E (1975) A short portable mental status questionnaire for the assessment of organic brain deficit in elderly patients. J Am Geriatr Soc 23, 433441.
15. Hsiao SH, Chiu HC & Liu HW (1994) A replication of multidimensionality of Activities of Daily Living (ADL): on the elderly in Southern Taiwan. Kaohsiung J Med Sci 10, 449457 (in Chinese).
16. Lu JF, Tseng HM & Tsai YJ (2003) Assessment of health-related quality of life in Taiwan (I): development and psychometric testing of SF-36 Taiwan version. Taiwan J Public Health 22, 501511 (in Chinese).
17. Ware JE, Kosinski M & Dewey JE (2000) How to Score Version 2 of the SF-36®Health Survey, pp. 2748. Lincoln, RI: QualityMetric Inc.
18. Lee MS, Huang YC & Su HH (2011) A simple food quality index predicts mortality in elderly Taiwanese. J Nutr Health Aging 15, 815821.
19. Van Der Horst K, Brunner TA & Siegrist M (2010) Ready-meal consumption: associations with weight status and cooking skills. Public Health Nutr 14, 239245.
20. Marmot M, Friel S & Bell R (2008) Closing the gap in a generation: health equity through action on the social determinants of health. Lancet 372, 16611669.
21. Mead E, Gittelsohn J & Roache C (2010) Healthy food intentions and higher socioeconomic status are associated with healthier food choices in an Inuit population. J Hum Nutr Diet 23, 8391.
22. Epstein F & Schiffman S (1983) Taste and smell in disease. N Engl J Med 308, 12751279, 1337–1343.
23. Kaneda H, Maeshima K & Goto N (2000) Decline in taste and odor discrimination abilities with age, and relationship between gustation and olfaction. Chem Senses 25, 331337.
24. Lee MS, Huang YC & Wahlqvist M (2010) Chewing ability in conjunction with food intake and energy status in later life affects survival in Taiwanese with the metabolic syndrome. J Am Geriatr Soc 58, 10721080.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 93
Total number of PDF views: 178 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1593 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 18th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.