Healthy eating perceptions of older adults living in Canadian rural and northern communities

Virginia M. Krahn, Christina O. Lengyel, Pam Hawranik

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Aging produces physiologic changes that can affect the nutritional health of the older adult. It is estimated that 80% of communitydwelling older adults have inadequate intakes of four or more nutrients. Socioeconomic factors, such as income and geographic location, can also play an important role in nutritional status; however, limited research is available that specifically explores this. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the healthy eating perceptions of older adults residing in rural and northern communities in one Canadian province. Five focus groups were conducted in three rural and two northern Manitoba communities. Thirty-nine older adults participated in audio-recorded focus groups. Five themes emerged from the discussions. All respondents stated that healthy eating was important, but knowledge deficits were observed regarding label reading, understanding and visualizing portion sizes, and vitamin D recommendations and sources. Food programs were not commonly attended by participants due to availably and resistance. Regularly delivered nutrition education programs would assist in providing current nutrition information to older adults and their families in rural settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-273
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul. 2011


  • Community
  • Eating perceptions
  • Food choices
  • Northern
  • Older adults
  • Remote
  • Rural


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