The Role of Nutrition and Literacy on the Cognitive Functioning of Elderly Poor Individuals.

Anja K. Leist, Rafael Novella, Javier Olivera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Maintaining cognitive function is a prerequisite of living independently, which is a highly valued component in older individuals' well-being. In this article we assess the role of early-life and later-life nutritional status, education, and literacy on the cognitive functioning of older adults living in poverty in Peru. We exploit the baseline sample of the Peruvian noncontributory pension program Pension 65 and find that current nutritional status and literacy are strongly associated with cognitive functioning for poor older adults. In a context of rising popularity of noncontributory pension programs around the world, our study intends to contribute to the discussion of designing accompanying measures to the pension transfer, such as adult literacy programs and monitoring of adequate nutrition of older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-295
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Aging and Social Policy
Issue number3
Early online date13 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2020


  • Cognitive function
  • Peru
  • nutritional status
  • old age
  • poverty

Cite this