Nutrition in late life: Identifying risks and benefits in an active retirement community
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
: 1:18 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Objectives: Older adults often experience poor diets and nutrition, which in turn can contribute negatively to the impact of disease and disability. While a problem for all demographic groups, aging populations encounter unique barriers and facilitators to healthy food access. This research aims to identify food-related environmental supports and challenges for seniors living in an active retirement community. Methods: Data were collected from seniors living in The Villages (an active retirement community) via a mixed methods study utilizing focus groups (N=59) and a population based health survey (N=33,119) between 09/2011 and 04/2012. Nutritional risk was assessed in surveys using the Nutrition Screening Initiative (NSI) checklist and in focus groups via questions focused on dietary habits, access challenges, and community supports. Results: The NSI revealed that 55% of Village residents have low fruit and vegetable consumption and over-half (55.3%) scored in moderate (55.3%) or high risk categories (12.2%) for poor nutritional outcomes. These findings are supported by qualitative data which revealed that social eating was associated with weight gain and over consumption. Despite these risks, content analysis also revealed high levels of food assistance by neighbors and organizations. Conclusions: The Villages is an exceptional community in terms of resident satisfaction, physical health, and social support. Still, the evidence suggests that problems related to food access and nutrition exist. Additional research is needed to pinpoint specific factors that contribute to over- and under nutrition among older adults in The Villages. Further implications for policy and practice will be discussed.
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Discuss the presence of nutritional risk in comparatively healthy communities.
Identify the positive and negative impacts of social eating for seniors in late life.
Keyword(s): Food and Nutrition, Aging
Presenting author's disclosure statement: