Objective: To investigate the food shopping habits of older adults in the UK and explore their potential associations with selected health-related indicators.
Design: A cross-sectional study including objectively measured physical activity levels, BMI, physical function and self-reported health status and dietary intake.
Setting: Bristol, UK.
Subjects: A total of 240 older adults aged >= 70 years living independently.
Results: Mean age was 78.1 (SD 5.7) years; 66.7% were overweight or obese and 4% were underweight. Most (80.0%) carried out their own food shopping; 53.3% shopped at least once weekly. Women were more likely to shop alone (P < 0.001) and men more likely to shop with their spouse (P < 0.001). Men were more likely than women to drive to food shopping (P < 0.001), with women more likely to take the bus or be driven (P < 0.001). Most reported ease in purchasing fruit and vegetables (72.9%) and low-fat products (67.5%); 19.2% reported low fibre intakes and 16.2% reported high fat intakes. Higher levels of physical function and physical activity and better general health were significantly correlated with the ease of purchasing fresh fruit, vegetables and low-fat products. Shopping more often was associated with higher fat intake (P = 0.03); higher levels of deprivation were associated with lower fibre intake (P = 0.019).
Conclusions: These findings suggest a pattern of food shopping carried out primarily by car at least once weekly at large supermarket chains, with most finding high-quality fruit, vegetables and low-fat products easily accessible. Higher levels of physical function and physical activity and better self-reported health are important in supporting food shopping and maintaining independence.
- physical function
- food shopping