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Food choice patterns among frail older adults: The associations between social network, food choice values, and diet quality

Food choice patterns among frail older adults: The associations between social network, food choice values, and diet quality

Appetite 96: 116-121

Social network type might affect an individual's food choice because these decisions are often made as a group rather than individually. In this study, the associations between social network type, food choice value, and diet quality in frail older adults with low socioeconomic status were investigated. For this cross-sectional study, 87 frail older adults were recruited from the National Home Healthcare Services in Seoul, South Korea. Social network types, food choice values, and diet quality were assessed using The Practitioner Assessment of Network Type Instrument, The Food Choice Questionnaire, and mean adequacy ratio, respectively. Results showed that frail older adults with close relationships with local family and/or friends and neighbors were less likely to follow their own preferences, such as taste, price, and beliefs regarding food health values. In contrast, frail older adults with a small social network and few community contacts were more likely to be influenced by their food choice values, such as price or healthiness of food. Frail older adults who tend to choose familiar foods were associated with low-quality dietary intake, while older adults who valued healthiness or use of natural ingredients were associated with a high-quality diet. The strength and direction of these associations were dependent on social network type of frail older adults. This study explored the hypothesis that food choice values are associated with a certain type of social network and consequently affect diet quality. While additional research needs to be conducted, community-based intervention intended to improve diet quality of frail older adults must carefully consider individual food choice values as well as social network types.

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Accession: 057891186

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26385288

DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2015.09.015

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