Prospective study of ready-to-eat breakfastcereal consumption and cognitive decline among elderly men and women in Cache County,Utah, Study on Memory, Health, and Aging.

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

The Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging



Publication Date


First Page


Last Page




To examine associations between frequency of ready-to-eat-cereal (RTEC) consumption and cognitive function among elderly men and women of the Cache County Study on Memory and Aging in Utah.


A population-based prospective cohort study established in Cache County, Utah in 1995.

Setting and Participants

3831 men and women > 65 years of age who were living in Cache County, Utah in 1995.


Diet was assessed using a 142-item food frequency questionnaire at baseline. Cognitive function was assessed using an adapted version of the Modified Mini-Mental State examination (3MS) at baseline and three subsequent interviews over 11 years. RTEC consumption was defined as daily, weekly, or infrequent use.


In multivariable models, more frequent RTEC consumption was not associated with a cognitive benefit. Those consuming RTEC weekly but less than daily scored higher on their baseline 3MS than did those consuming RTEC more or less frequently (91.7, 90.6, 90.6, respectively; p-value <0.001). This association was maintained across 11 years of observation such that those consuming RTEC weekly but less than daily declined on average 3.96 points compared to an average 5.13 and 4.57 point decline for those consuming cereal more or less frequently (p-value = 0.0009).


Those consuming RTEC at least daily had poorer cognitive performance at baseline and over 11 years of follow-up compared to those who consumed cereal more or less frequently. RTEC is a nutrient dense food, but should not replace the consumption of other healthy foods in the diets’ of elderly people. Associations between RTEC consumption, dietary patterns, and cognitive function deserve further study.

This document is currently not available here.