Determinants of Healthy Eating in Community-dwelling Elderly People

Les déterminants de la saine alimentation chez les personnes âgées vivant dans la collectivité

Abstract

Among seniors, food choice and related activities are affected by health status, biological changes wrought by aging and functional abilities, which are mediated in the larger arena by familial, social and economic factors. Determinants of healthy eating stem from individual and collective factors. Individual components include age, sex, education, physiological and health issues, psychological attributes, lifestyle practices, and knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours, in addition to other universal dietary determinants such as income, social status and culture. Collective determinants of healthy eating, such as accessible food labels, an appropriate food shopping environment, the marketing of the “healthy eating” message, adequate social support and provision of effective, community-based meal delivery services have the potential to mediate dietary habits and thus foster healthy eating. However, there is a startling paucity of research in this area, and this is particularly so in Canada. Using search and inclusion criteria and key search strings to guide the research, this article outlines the state of knowledge and research gaps in the area of determinants of healthy eating among Canadian seniors. In conclusion, dietary self-management persists in well, independent seniors without financial constraints, whatever their living arrangements, whereas nutritional risk is high among those in poor health and lacking in resources. Further study is necessary to clarify contributors to healthy eating in order to permit the development and evaluation of programs and services designed to encourage and facilitate healthy eating in older Canadians.

Résumé

Chez les personnes âgées, les choix alimentaires et les activités connexes sont influencés par l’état de santé, les changements biologiques dus au vieillissement et les habiletés fonctionnelles, tout cela dans le contexte plus large de facteurs familiaux, sociaux et économiques. Les déterminants de la saine alimentation peuvent être d’ordre individuel ou collectif. Parmi les facteurs individuels, mentionnons l’âge, le sexe, le niveau d’instruction, les problèmes physiologiques ou de santé, les attributs psychologiques, les habitudes de vie ainsi que les connaissances, les attitudes, les croyances et les comportements. Ces facteurs s’ajoutent à d’autres déterminants universels de l’alimentation tels que le revenu, le statut social et la culture. Parmi les déterminants collectifs de la saine alimentation, mentionnons l’étiquetage nutritionnel, un environnement favorable à l’achat des aliments, les messages publicitaires entourant la «saine alimentation», un soutien social approprié et un service communautaire efficace de livraison des repas. Tous ces facteurs peuvent influencer les habitudes alimentaires et par conséquent favoriser une saine alimentation. On observe toutefois une grave pénurie d’études en la matière, plus particulièrement au Canada. Le présent article a été rédigé suite à la consultation de banques de données informatisées, à partir de critères et de chaînes de recherche. Il a pour but de faire ressortir l’état actuel des connaissances ainsi que les lacunes au niveau de la recherche portant sur les déterminants de la saine alimentation chez les personnes âgées au Canada. En conclusion, les personnes âgées bien portantes, autonomes et sans contraintes financières continuent à gérer leur alimentation, peu importe leur milieu de vie, tandis qu’on observe un risque nutritionnel élevé chez les personnes en mauvaise santé ou qui manquent de ressources. De nouvelles études s’imposent en vue de permettre une meilleure compréhension des facteurs qui contribuent à la saine alimentation, de même que l’élaboration et l’évaluation de programmes et de services visant à promouvoir la saine alimentation auprès des personnes âgées du Canada et à la favoriser.

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Correspondence to Mme Hélène Payette Ph.D..

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Acknowledgements:: The authors would like to express special thanks to Céline Lapointe and Sandra Bérubé for their assistance in searching and reviewing the literature.

Remerciements: Les auteures tiennent à remercier tout particulièrement Céline Lapointe et Sandra Bérubé de leur collaboration au niveau de la recherche bibliographique et de l’examen de la documentation.

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Payette, H., Shatenstein, B. Determinants of Healthy Eating in Community-dwelling Elderly People. Can J Public Health 96, S30–S35 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03405198

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MeSH terms

  • Elderly
  • nutrition
  • determinants
  • eating habits
  • healthy eating

Mots clés

  • personnes âgées
  • nutrition
  • déterminants
  • habitudes alimentaires
  • saine alimentation