J Korean Diet Assoc.  2022 May;28(2):114-126. 10.14373/JKDA.2022.28.2.114.

Status of Korean Healthy Eating Index and Associated Factors in Elderly with a Focus on Health Habits, Mental Health, and Nutritional Status: Data from the 2016∼2018 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

  • 1Dept. of Food & Nutrition, Andong National University, Andong 36729, Korea


The relationship between mortality and the Korean Healthy Eating Index (“KHEI”) is well established. This study was to investigate the associations between health habits, mental health, and nutritional status and KHEI in older Koreans (aged≥65 years). A total of 4,247 subjects (1,842 men and 2,405 women) that participated in the 2016∼2018 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were included in the analysis. The lowest scoring KHEI item was milk and milk products. KHEI tertile groups were classified by total KHEI score. Tertile group percentages were related to general characteristics such as gender, residential area, educational level, income level, number of family members, and age. Logistic regression analysis adjusted for general characteristics, showed that ex-smokers (OR: male 1.53 female 2.29), smokers (OR: male 2.90), low hand grip strength (OR: male 1.42 female 1.90), poor self-rated health status (OR: female 1.83), stressful mental status (OR: female 1.51), poor health-related quality of life (OR: female 1.64), poor nutritional status (OR: male 2.88∼37.20 female 1.98∼16.12), and food insecurity (OR: male 6.87 female 2.03) were significantly related to a lower KHEI. This study suggests that gender-specific associations exist between mental health status and KHEI.


the korean healthy eating index; health habits; mental health; nutrient intake status; elderly; the 2016∼2018 KNHANES
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