Older adults' attitudes to food and nutrition: a qualitative study
Winter, J.E., McNaughton, S.A. and Nowson, C.A. 2016, Older adults' attitudes to food and nutrition: a qualitative study, The journal of aging research and clinical practice, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 114-119, doi: 10.14283/jarcp.2016.100.
Objective: To explore the factors that influence food choices of older adults and identify potential sources of dietary advice.
Design: A qualitative research design using semi-structured, one on one interviews. Setting: A general medical practice in Victoria, Australia. Participants: Twelve community dwelling adults aged 75 to 89 (mean 82.8 ± 4.4) years, 92% living alone and 92% female.
Measurements: Interview questions addressed usual daily food pattern, shopping routines, appetite, importance of diet and potential sources of dietary advice or assistance.
Results: Thematic analysis identified key themes influencing food choices were maintaining independence; value of nutrition; childhood patterns; and health factors. Dietary restrictions and concerns with weight gain were expressed, and although these were managed independently, the GP was identified as the first source of information if required.
Conclusion: This sample of older adults placed high value on eating well as they age, however a number followed self-imposed dietary restrictions which have the potential to compromise their nutritional status as dietary requirements change. Further research is needed into how to communicate changing nutritional needs to this group.
Field of Research
111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
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