Clinical Interventions in Aging (Sep 2023)

Exploring Whether Weight-Related Cues Affect Food Intake in Older Adults with Dementia

  • Kimura A,
  • Yamaguchi K,
  • Tohara H,
  • Sato Y,
  • Sawada N,
  • Nakagawa Y,
  • Matsuda Y,
  • Inoue M,
  • Wada Y,
  • Tamaki K

Journal volume & issue
Vol. Volume 18
pp. 1453 – 1461


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Atsushi Kimura,1 Kohei Yamaguchi,2 Haruka Tohara,2 Yusuke Sato,3 Naoko Sawada,3 Yasuhide Nakagawa,3 Yukako Matsuda,4,5 Motoharu Inoue,5 Yuji Wada,6 Kazuhiro Tamaki3,4 1College of Risk Management, Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan; 2Department of Dysphagia Rehabilitation, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan; 3Geriatric Health Services Facility Nanohana, Medical Corporation Kanjinkai, Tokyo, Japan; 4Nanohana Dentistry Clinic, Medical Corporation Kanjinkai, Tokyo, Japan; 5Department of Dysphagia Rehabilitation, Nihon University of Dentistry, Tokyo, Japan; 6College of Gastronomy Management, Ritsumeikan University, Shiga, JapanCorrespondence: Atsushi Kimura, College of Risk Management, Nihon University, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, 1548513, Japan, Tel +81 3 6453 1600, Fax +81 3 6453 1630, Email [email protected] Kazuhiro Tamaki, Geriatric Health Services Facility Nanohana, Medical Corporation Kanjinkai, Nishitama-Gun, Tokyo, 1901212, Japan, Tel +81 42 568 5111, Fax +81 42 568 5127, Email [email protected]: Past research has shown that exposure to the image of a slim person reduces food consumption among young adults. However, it remains unknown whether this paradigm could be adapted and applied to increase food intake among older adults with dementia by exposing them to the image of a higher-weight person to mitigate weight loss and malnutrition. The present study explored whether weight-related visual cues affect the amount of food consumed by older adults with dementia.Participants and Methods: In the experiment, twenty-one elderly people with dementia living in a nursing home were visually exposed to one of four conditions (a cartoon image of a normal-weight chef, a higher-weight chef, a flower or no image) during real-life daily lunch situations over the course of four weeks, during which each condition was presented for one week.Results: Results demonstrate that participants finished their meals more frequently when they were exposed to the image of the higher-weight chef than when they were not exposed to any images.Conclusion: These results suggest that exposure to a cartoon chef character representing a stereotyped social group related to body weight activates the stereotype and increases stereotype-consistent behavior in older adults with dementia. The present findings will contribute to understanding the effect of visual information on eating behavior and to designing eating environments which facilitate sufficient nutrition intake among older adults with dementia.Keywords: nudge, body weight, dementia, food consumption, dining environment