Older Australians' views about the impact of ageing on their nutritional practices: findings from a qualitative study
Brownie, S in press, 'Older Australians' views about the impact of ageing on their nutritional practices: findings from a qualitative study', Australasian Journal on Ageing.
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Aim: To explore older people's views about how getting older has influenced their dietary practices. Methods: Focus groups with independently living residents aged 60 years and older in northern NSW, Australia. An inductive approach to thematic analysis was used. Results: Five focus groups (n= 29) were conducted. The majority of participants were female (79%), mean age 73 years. The main findings were that reduced ability to eat large meals; health maintenance and disease management; food messages; food taste and convenience; and living arrangements appear to impact food choices and eating behaviour in this sample. Conclusion: In the presence of reduced and/or modified food intake older people might benefit from an understanding of the concept of nutrient density in order to help them attain and maintain nutritional adequacy. Lifelong exposure to food messages (sometimes conflicting) resulted in many participants feeling confused about appropriate dietary practices for this age group.