The REACH Study

The purpose of the study is to identify dietary patterns in older adults and explore their association with cognitive function.  We will also look at other health outcomes associated with aging, including novel metabolic biomarkers, genetics, and factors influencing mobility.

The New Zealand population is ageing, with 21% of the population expected to be over 65 years by 2031. Optimising cognitive function for as long as possible is critical for successful ageing. Diet and lifestyle are important factors to prevent cognitive decline.  However, to date most research has focused on single nutrients (eg. omega 3) and foods (eg. fish). This has several limitations as people do not consume foods and nutrients in isolation but as combinations of foods and nutrients resulting in dietary patterns. ‘Dietary patterns’ (a relatively new approach to assessing dietary intake) capture the overall complexity of the diet.  Overseas research has linked dietary patterns to health outcomes including cognitive function. However, very little research has considered dietary patterns in the context of genetics, and other lifestyle factors (eg. physical activity). This study aims to identify dietary patterns in older adults living in New Zealand and explore their association with cognitive function and other health outcomes associated with aging.

We are looking for 360 male and female volunteers to participate in this study. 

We are currently recruiting volunteers who should:

- be between 65-74 years of age
- be living independently (not requiring assistance with daily activities or 24/7 skilled nursing)
- be proficient in English
- not have had a diagnosis of dementia.  
- not have or have had any of the following conditions which may cause impairments in cognitive function: stroke, traumatic head/brain injury, have a neurological or psychiatric condition.
- not be colour blind.
- not be taking medication which may influence cognitive function.

Due to the type of study this is we can only include one person from any household. However, you are welcome to bring a family member or support person with you.

Register your interest

Full information sheet

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