Diet quality and the influence of social and physical factors on food consumption and nutrient intake in materially deprived older people
Holmes, B. A.
Background/Objectives: To investigate the influence of social and physical factors on diet quality in materially deprived (low income) older people in the United Kingdom. Subjects/Methods: A diet quality index was obtained for 222 men and 440 women aged 65 and over living alone or with other adults of retirement age from the United Kingdom Low Income Diet and Nutrition Survey (2003-2005). The association between diet quality and social and physical factors was investigated by logistic regression analysis. Results: Analysis revealed several barriers to an adequate diet in the older low-income population. For both men and women, having the best quality diet was inversely associated with usually eating meals on one's lap as opposed to at the table (Adjusted odds ratio (ORs) 0.3, 95% confidence interval: 0.12-0.77 (men), 0.3, 0.17-0.56 (women)). For men, difficulty chewing was inversely associated with the best quality diet (OR = 0.4; 0.13-0.99), whereas for women, current smoking and being 75 years or over were inversely associated with the best quality diet (OR = 0.2; 0.06-0.42 and 0.5; 0.27-0.87, respectively); P value for all associations was < 0.05. Conclusions: Results suggest that the social setting is an important determinant of diet quality in this group and future studies should collect details on where and with whom meals are taken to fully investigate the extent of this influence. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2011) 65, 538-545; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2010.293; published online 26 January 2011