Polish functional foods market open to all ages

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition Metabolic syndrome

The elderly and younger people are consuming functional foods at similar levels, despite differing expectations, health outcomes and education, according to researchers writing in a recent edition of Food Policy.

“Despite the expectations, there were no differences between older and younger Poles in the weekly consumption of more popular and available functional food, such as fruit and/or vegetables, high fibre food and cholesterol lowering spreads or drinks,”​ the researchers wrote.

However some categories suffered as consumers aged such as probiotic yoghurt drinks, foods with added vitamins and/or minerals and energy drinks.

Metabolic syndrome-centric

The study had a focus on metabolic syndrome and found elderly Poles were more concerned about the carry-all term that grouped such health problems as obesity and diabetes.

“Educational and prevention actions should concentrate on older groups of people, while strengthening and preventing age-related diseases in younger groups,”​ the researchers wrote.

“This study demonstrates that a greater awareness of high health risks to the elderly can be used by manufacturers and retailers of food and beverages and become an element of functional food advertising.”

Fruit and/or vegetables were consumed at least once a week by 89 per cent of the older sub-sample, high-fibre foods by 36 per cent, probiotic yoghurt drinks by 28 per cent and cholesterol lowering spreads or drinks by 18 per cent.

The study involved a national representative sample of 1005 adults aged 15+.

The study was part-funded by the European Union 6th Framework Food Quality and Safety Program as part of a five-year programme called ‘‘Diet, genomics, and the metabolic syndrome: an integrated nutrition, agro-food, social and economics analysis”.

It sought consumer habits in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Poland and Portugal.

Source: Food PolicyVolume 34, pp 311-318

“Differences between older and younger Poles in functional food consumption, awareness of metabolic syndrome risk and perceived barriers to health improvement”

Authors: Lidia Wadołowska, Marzena Danowska-Oziewicz, Barbara Stewart-Knox, Maria Daniel Vaz de Almeida

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