Factors Influencing Food Choices Among Older Adults in the Rural Western USA
- 716 Downloads
Nutrition is an essential component in promoting health and quality of life into the older adults years. The purpose of this qualitative research is to explore how the rural food environment influences food choices of older adults. Four focus groups were conducted with 33 older adults (50 years of age and older) residing in rural Montana communities. Four major themes related to factors influencing food choices among rural older adults emerged from this study: perception of the rural community environment, support as a means of increasing food access, personal access to food sources, and dietary factors. The findings from this current study warrant further research and promotion of specifically tailored approaches that influence the food choices of older adults in the rural western USA, including the developing and expanding public transportation systems, increasing availability of local grocers with quality and affordable food options, increasing awareness and decreasing stigma surrounding community food programs, and increasing nutrition education targeting senior health issues.
KeywordsSeniors Nutrition Food access Eating behaviors
The authors would like to thank the AARP Foundation for financially supporting the work completed in this study through their Hunger Innovation Grants. AARP Foundation is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- 7.Dean, W. R., Sharkey, J. R., & Johnson, C. M. (2011). Food insecurity is associated with social capital, perceived personal disparity, and partnership status among older and senior adults in a largely rural area of central Texas. Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics, 30(2), 169–186.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 9.Frongillo, E. A., & Horan, C. M. (2004). Hunger and aging. Generations, 28(3), 28–33.Google Scholar
- 12.Morton, L. W., & Blanchard, T. C. (2007). Starved for access: life in rural America’s food deserts. Rural Realities, 1, 1–10.Google Scholar
- 16.Befort, C. A., Nazir, N., & Perri, M. G. (2012). Prevalence of obesity among adults from rural and urban areas of the United States: Findings from NHANES (2005–2008). The Journal of Rural Health: Official Journal of the American Rural Health Association and the National Rural Health Care Association, 28(4), 392–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 17.Tai-Seale, T., & Chandler, C. (2010). Nutrition and overweight concerns in rural areas: A literature review. In Rural Healthy People 2010: A Companion Document to Healthy People 2010 (Vol. 2). College Station, TX: Southwest Rural Health Research Center, School of Rural Public Health.Google Scholar
- 23.Champagne, C. M., Casey, P. H., Connell, C. L., Stuff, J. E., Gossett, J. M., Harsha, D. W., McCabe-Sellers, B., et al. (2007). Poverty and food intake in rural America: Diet quality is lower in food insecure adults in the Mississippi Delta. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 107(11), 1886–1894.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 24.Souter, S., & Keller, C. S. (2002). Food choice in the rural dwelling older adult. Southern Online Journal of Nursing Research, 5(3), 1–19.Google Scholar
- 25.Ledikwe J. H., Smiciklas W. H., Mitchell D. C., Miller C. K., Jensen G. L., Friedmann J. M., Still C. D. (2007). Nutritional risk assessment and obesity in rural older adults: A sex difference. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 77(3), 551–558.Google Scholar
- 26.USDA Economic Research Service (2013). Rural–Urban Continuum Codes. Accessed Sept 10, 2016, from http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/rural-urban-continuum-codes.
- 27.AARP.org. (2016). AARP Foundation. Accessed Sept 10, 2016, from http://www.aarpfoundation.org/.
- 28.Sharkey, J. (2012). Rural food choices focus group guide.Google Scholar
- 29.Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research (7th edn.). Chicago, IL: Aldine Publishing Company.Google Scholar
- 31.Sharpe, D. L., Huston, S. J., & Finke, M. S. (2003). Factors affecting nutritional adequacy among single elderly women. Family Economics and Nutrition Review, 15(1), 74.Google Scholar
- 39.Holmes, B. A., & Roberts, C. L. (2011). Diet quality and the influence of social and physical factors on food consumption and nutrient intake in materially deprived older people. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 65(4), 538–545. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2010.293 (PubMed PMID: 21266981).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 41.Ver Ploeg M., Breneman V., Farrigan T., et al. (2009). USDA economic research service. Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food: Report to Congress. Accessed Sept 10, 2016, from http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/ap/ap036.
- 49.US Department of Health and Human Services Administration of Aging. (2016). Future Growth. Accessed Sept 10, 2016, from http://www.aoa.acl.gov/Aging_Statistics/index.aspx. .
- 50.US Department of Health and Human Services (2008). The 2008 report to the secretary: Rural health and human services issues. Rockville, MD: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
- 52.Cromartie, J., & Nelson, P. (2009). USDA economic research service. Baby boom migration and its impact on rural America. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar