Why the over sixties are shunning newer food trends

Advertising feature in association with Fruits From Chile / 26 February 2018

Chia seeds, couscous and quinoa are just some of the foods adults over the age of 60 have never tried, despite their increasing popularity among younger generations.

A study into the eating habits of older adults shows many avoid the latest food fads loved by millennials, with 35 per cent opting for a traditional ‘meat and two veg’ options over more typically modern foods.

As such, 52 per cent have never touched avocado on toast, while 53 per cent have never tried quinoa. Even olives are alien to a number of over 60s along with foods such as aubergine, vegan burgers, and tacos.

While shunning newer food crazes such as flax seeds, goji berries and chia seeds, it’s the more well-known, traditional superfoods that are popular among this age group.

For example, 95 per cent of over 60s have eaten blueberries, with almost one in six saying they’d be likely to have them this week. Beetroot, broccoli and spinach also come out on top of the most tried foods among older adults.

Commenting on the research, Dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton, spokesperson for The Chilean Blueberry Committee, which carried out the study said: “With all the buzz around new food trends and superfoods, it’s interesting to see a divide between what the younger generation prefer to eat, and how this compares with those in later life, who tend to prefer more well-known foods.”

The study of 2,000 adults aged 60 and over via OnePoll.com reveals two thirds of over 60s say they like their food to be colourful and interesting, which could explain why they avoid neutral-toned foods such as quinoa, cous cous, and chia seeds.

Dr Carrie Ruxton says: “It’s true that we eat with our eyes just as much as we do with our taste buds and foods like blueberries are a great food to tick these boxes. It’s interesting that the over-60s refuse to bow to the latest trends and instead stick with foods that they know taste good as well as doing them good.”

Alison Smith, Chair of the BDA Older People Specialist Group says: “By avoiding snacks in the evening after dinner, whether that’s dessert or a healthier sweet treat, the older generation could be missing out on further nutrients that they could benefit from.

“It isn’t always advisable for an indulgent dessert, but a balanced snack such as blueberries alongside a nutrient dense yogurt, or nut mix could provide a boost in protein and vitamins and minerals which particularly people over the age of 80 can be deficient in.”

Dr Carrie Ruxton says: “Blueberries are an excellent snack as they are naturally low in calories and rich in antioxidant compounds, called anthocyanins, which have been linked with optimal heart health and cognitive function. Blueberries are also high in vitamin C which supports immune function.”

The survey also found that:

  • More than one in 10 people nearing or in retirement haven’t tried foods like duck and asparagus.
  • 71 per cent of people over 60 believe they are getting all the nutrients and vitamins they need.
  • Eight in 10 Brits acknowledge their choice of meals options is more ‘traditional’ than modern, with two thirds saying the choice of ingredients and types of food is too varied now.
  • One third of this generation have been made a meal by their children which contained ingredients they didn’t even recognise.
  • 17 per cent have been kind enough to try and make their children or grandchildren foods they don’t even like themselves.

Find out more about the health benefits of blueberries at fruitsfromchile.com

Fruits From Chile

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.