Food shopping habits, physical activity and health-related indicators among adults aged ≥70 years

J L Thompson, G Bentley, M Davis, J Coulson, Afroditi Stathi, K R Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1640-1649
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Volume14
Issue number9
Early online date5 May 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011

Keywords

  • physical function
  • independence
  • food shopping
  • ageing
  • elderly

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