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Appetite. 2012 Apr;58(2):730-8. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2011.12.008. Epub 2011 Dec 16.

Dietary resilience as described by older community-dwelling adults from the NuAge study "if there is a will -there is a way!".

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  • 1University of Guelph, Department of Family Relations and Applied Human Nutrition, Macdonald Institute, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


Many older adults experience age-related changes that can have negative consequences for food intake. Some older adults continue to eat well despite these challenges showing dietary resilience. We aimed to describe the strategies used by older adults to overcome dietary obstacles and to explore the key themes of dietary resilience. The sample was drawn from the five-year Québec Longitudinal Study "NuAge". It included 30 participants (80% female) aged 73-87 years; 10 with decreased diet quality and 20 with steady or increased diet quality; all had faced key barriers to eating well. Semi-structured interviews explored how age-related changes affected participants' experiences with eating. Thematic analysis revealed strategies used to overcome eating, shopping, and meal preparation difficulties. Key themes of dietary resilience were: prioritizing eating well, doing whatever it takes to keep eating well, being able to do it yourself, getting help when you need it. Implications for health professionals are discussed.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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