Background and Aims: Consumption of antioxidant nutrients can reduce the risk of progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) - the leading cause of visual impairment in adults over the age of 50 years in the UK. Lutein and zeaxanthin (L&Z) are of particular interest because they are selectively absorbed by the central retina. The objectives of this study were to analyse the dietary intake of a group of AMD patients, assess their ability to prepare and cook healthy food, and to make comparisons with people not affected by AMD.
Methods: 158 participants with AMD were recruited via the UK charity The Macular Society, and fifty participants without AMD were recruited from optometric practice. A telephone interview was conducted by trained workers where participants completed a 24 hour food diary, and answered questions about cooking and shopping capabilities.
Results: In the AMD group, the average L&Z intake was low in for both males and females. Those able to cook a hot meal consumed significantly more L&Z than those who were not able. Most participants were not consuming the recommended dietary allowance of fibre, calcium, vitamin D and E, and calorific intake was also lower than recommendations for their age-group. The non-AMD group consumed more kilocalories and more nutrients than the AMD group, but the L&Z intake was similar to those with AMD. The main factor that influenced participant’s food choices was personal preference.
Conclusion: For an ‘informed’ population, many AMD participants were under-consuming nutrients considered to be useful for their condition. Participants without AMD were more likely to reach recommended daily allowance values for energy and a range of nutrients. It is therefore essential to design more effective dietary education and dissemination methods for people with, and at risk of, AMD.
© 2015, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
- age-related macular degeneration
- lifestyle factors