Choosing foods eating meals: sustaining independence and quality of life in old age
A multi-disciplinary team from nine research centres in eight European countries has been brought together to carry out the cross-cultural SENIOR FOOD-QOL project, co-ordinated by the University of Surrey. Older people living in their own homes represent a diverse but under-researched and increasingly important population group whose specific consumer needs have rarely been evaluated. Easy access to healthy food is central to the maintenance of health, independence and quality of life.
Whilst many studies have shown that inadequate nutritional intakes are more common in older people, few have tried to identify the barriers to the effective procurement and preparation of food that occur with advancing age in those who live independently in the community. As the majority of older people live in their own homes there is a need to develop strategies, which ensure the effective delivery of nutrition in the community setting.
One of the innovations of the proposed research is its detailed examination of attitudes and beliefs of older consumers and their food preferences for products such as snacks, ready-made convenience foods, functional foods and delivered meals. In addition, access to foods and social networks to support food procurement will be investigated. The social life of many older people is focused around food. The procurement of food is an activity of social significance in all societies and an analysis will be made of these social networks and their effect on access.
The wider influences on dietary choices in advancing age across the participating European countries will be investigated. The research will inform both large and small food companies regarding future product development and innovation.
- Anna Saba, Instituto Nazionale di Ricerca per gli Alimenti e la Nutrizione, Rome, Italy,
- Dr- Cornelie Pfau, Federal Research Centre for Nutrition, Institute of Nutritional Economics and Sociology, Karlsruhe, Germany
- Prof. Dr Maria Daniel Vaz De Almeida, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Ciências da Nutrição e Alimentaçao, Porto, Portugal
- Dr Jesús Contreras, Universitat de Barcelona, Departamentd'Antropologia Cultural i Història d'Amèrica i Àfrica, Barcelona, Spain
- Professor, Dr. Birgitta Sidenvall, Uppsala University, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
- Professor, Dr. Christina Fjellström, Uppsala University, Department of Domestic Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
- Dr Marzena Danowska-Oziewicz, University of Warmia and Mazury, Institute of Human Nutrition. Olsztyn, Poland
- Prof. Dr Lidia Wadolowska, University of Warmia and Mazury, Institute of Human Nutrition. Olsztyn, Poland
- Prof. Dr Klaus G. Grunert, the Aarhus School of Business, the MAPP Centre, Aarhus, Denmark
- Dr Katarzyna Kozlowska, Department of Human Nutrition, Warsaw Agricultural University (SGGW), Warsaw, Poland
- Prof. Wojciech Roszkowski, Department of Human Nutrition, Warsaw Agricultural University (SGGW), Warsaw, Poland
- Mr Andrew Isaac, Sodexho Healthcare, Aldershot, Hampshire, United Kingdom
University of Surrey researchers
Professor Monique Raats
Professor; Director of the Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre
I previously worked at the Institute of Food Research, Health Education Authority and University of Oxford. My expertise is in the area of public health and behavioural nutrition research, gained on a variety of projects. My research is wide ranging both in terms of topics covered (e.g. food choice, policy development, food safety) and methodologies used (e.g. qualitative, quantitative, stakeholder consultation). I have also been involved in the evaluation of health promotion programmes and developing tools for use in nutrition education.
Since my arrival in 2000, I have played an instrumental role in the success of the University of Surrey’s Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre, securing over £5.4M of research funding, of which over £3.3M as PI. With a start-up investment of £250K in 2000, the centre has brought over £7.1M into the University.
To date I have published over 125 refereed papers, numerous non-refereed publications including 20 book chapters and have edited two booksand edited two books ("The Psychology of Food Choice" (2006) and "Food for the Ag(e)ing Population" (1st edition 2009; 2nd edition 2016).
I am one of the founding members, member of the Board of Directors (2001-2006) and was secretary (2004-2006) of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. The society was set up to combine interests in diet and physical activity; and to stimulate, promote and advocate innovative research and policy in the area. The society now plays an important role in fostering excellence in research in this field through its annual meetings and journal called the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.
Professor Sara Arber
Emeritus Professor of Sociology
SARA ARBER was appointed Professor of Sociology in 1994 and has been Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Ageing and Generations (CRAG) (formerly know as the Centre for Research on Ageing and Gender) since 2001. She was Head of the School of Human Sciences (2001-2004) and Head of the Sociology Department (1996-2002). She joined the Sociology Department in 1974, following postgraduate work at the Population Studies Center, University of Michigan. Sara has remained at Surrey throughout her career apart from spending a year on study leave (1979-80) in India and Australia, and as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Australian National University (January to March 2005). Sara became Emeritus Professor of Sociology in September 2017.
Sara was President of the British Sociological Association (1999-2001) and President of the International Sociological Association Research Committee on Sociology of Aging (RC11) (2006-2010). She was elected as an Academician of the Social Sciences in 2000, a Fellow of the British Academy in 2008 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2012. Sara received the British Sociological Association (BSA) Distinguished Service to British Sociology Award in 2017. This annual BSA award is made 'to an outstanding individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the discipline by leading an extraordinary life as a sociologist'. Sara received the BSG (British Society of Gerontology) Outstanding Achievement Award 2011 for her contribution to the field of ageing and was awarded the status of Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) in 2012. She has been actively involved with ESRC, including as a member of their Grants Assessment Panel. Sara's internationally regarded research has spanned inequalities in health, ageing and gender, and latterly she has pioneered the Sociology of Sleep. Sara was a member of the 2014 REF (Research Excellence Framework) Panel for Sociology.
Professor Richard Shepherd
Emeritus Professor of Psychology
Richard Shepherd is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology, having retired in August 2011. He obtained degrees in Natural Sciences from Cambridge and in Psychology from Cardiff and Southampton. He was a Research Fellow at the University of Surrey and then worked at the Institute of Food Research from 1982 to 1998, initially in Norwich and then in Reading, before joining the University of Surrey as a Reader.
He has carried out research on a range of issues related to the factors influencing food choice. In particular this has involved the development and application of social cognition models to food choice issues and the exploration of the factors influencing dietary change. He has also conducted research on the perception of risk and risk communication particularly in relation to food issues. He has published widely in all of these areas of research, including editing two books.
He has directed research funded by BBSRC, ESRC, MAFF, FSA, Wellcome Trust and industry, in addition to several collaborative European projects funded by the EU. He is a Chartered Psychologist and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. In the past Richard has been a member of the UK Food Standards Agency Social Science Research Committee, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Social Science Expert Advisory Group and the ESRC Grant Assessment Panel.
Professor Anita Eves
Professor of Hospitality Management
I am a Professor in Hospitality Management. I teach food-related topics, including innovation and new product development, and my research focuses on consumer behaviour in the context of food. This has included healthy eating behaviours in foodservice settings, food hygiene behaviours in the home and also of food handlers in the foodservice sector, and the role of food in the tourism product. I am a founding member of the University Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre.
Dr Charo Hodgkins
Senior Research Fellow & Director of Innovation, School of Psychology
I started my career with GSK as a development chemist and then moved to Superdrug Stores PLC as Head of Technical Services. During my 14 years in industry, I gained extensive experience of managing technical and research projects within both branded and retail environments. In 2003, I joined the Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre (FCBH) in the School of Psychology at Surrey, a multidisciplinary research centre which brings together skills and expertise in order to address research questions on food related policy, consumer behaviour and public health. I have played an instrumental role in the success of the Research Centre, working on a wide range of collaborative, multidisciplinary UK and EU funded research projects. I am also Director of Innovation for the School of Psychology, employing my expertise to support academics in the School of Psychology and the wider university to develop pathways to impact thus ensuring our research delivers societal benefit.
- Dr Margaret Lumbers
- Dr Kate Davidson
- Dr Wendy Hunter
- Helen Marshall
Papers published in refereed journals
Turrini A, Laura D'Addezio L, Maccati F, Davy BM, Arber S, Davidson K, Grunert K, Schuhmacher B, Pfau C, Kozłowska K, Dr; Anna Szczecińska A, Msc; Cecilia M de Morais C, Bsc Msc; Cláudia Afonso C, Bofill S, Lacasta Y, Nydahl M, Ekblad J, Raats M, Lumbers M (in press) The Informal Networks in Food Procurement by Older People - A Cross European Comparison. Ageing International
Dean MS, Raats MM, Grunert KG, Lumbers M, Food in Later Life Project Team (2009) Factors influencing eating a varied diet in old age. Public Health Nutrition 12(12), 2421-2427.
Kozłowska K, Szczecińska A, Roszkowski W, Brzozowska A, Alfonso C, Fjellstrom C, Morais C, Nielsen NA, Pfau C, Saba A, Sidenvall B, Turrini A, Raats MM, Lumbers M, Food in Later Life Project Team (2008) Patterns of healthy lifestyle and positive health attitudes in older Europeans – The Food in Later Life Project. Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging 12(10), 728-733.
Messina F, Turrini A, Saba A, Raats M, Lumbers M, Food in Later Life Team (2008) Older people’s perceptions towards conventional and functional yoghurts: a cross-country study. British Food Journal 110(8), 790-804.
Dean MS, Grunert KG, Raats MM, Nielsen NA, Lumbers M, Food in Later Life Project Team (2008) The impact of personal resources and their goal relevance on satisfaction with food related life among the elderly. Appetite 50(2-3):308-15 [dx.doi.org/doi:10.1016/j.appet.2007.08.007]
Saba A, Messina F, Turrini A, Lumbers M, Raats MM, Food in Later Life Project Team (2008) Older people and convenience in meal preparation: a European study on understanding their perception towards vegetable soup preparation. International Journal of Consumer Studies 32(2), 147-156. [dx.doi.org/doi:10.1111/j.1470-6431.2007.00660.x]
Grunert KG, Dean MS, Raats MM, Nielsen NA, Lumbers M, Food in Later Life Project Team (2007) A measure of satisfaction with food-related life. Appetite 49(2), 486-493. [dx.doi.org/doi:10.1016/j.appet.2007.03.010]
Hunter W, Lumbers M, Raats M, Food in Later Life Project Team (2007) Future challenges in day-centre food-services. Will benchmarking help? International Journal of Public Sector Management 20(5) 434-448. [emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/09513550710772530]
Kozłowska K, Szczecińska A, Roszkowski W, Brzozowska A, Raats M, Lumbers M, Food in Later Life Project Project Team (2007) Factors influencing the choice and perceptions of yoghurts among old people living in Warsaw. Polish Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences 57(1), 115-124. [journal.pan.olsztyn.pl/show.php?id=834]
Mattsson Sydner Y, Sidenvall B, Fjellström C, Raats MM, Lumbers M, Food in Later Life Project Team (2007) Diet, eating and household work – a life course perspective of senior Europeans. Food, Culture and Society 10(3), 367-387.
Kozłowska K, Szczecińska A, Roszkowski W, Brzozowska A, Saba A, Raats M, Lumbers M, Food in Later Life Project Team (2006) Perception of convenience food by older people living in Warsaw (on the example of vegetable soups) Polish Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences 15/56(2), 227-233. [journal.pan.olsztyn.pl//pdfy/2006/2/polish_journal_18.pdf]
Wadolowska L, Danowska-Oziewicz M, Niedzwiedzka E, Slowinska MA, Lumbers M, Raats M, Nielsen NA, Food in Later Life Team (2006) BMI and obesity incidence in relation to food patterns among Polish older people. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, 15(2a), 877-884.
Wądołowska L, Danowska-Oziewicz M, Niedźwiedzka E, Słowińska MA, Lumbers M, Raats M, Nielsen NA, Food in Later Life Project Team (2006) Food patterns among Polish older people. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, 15(2a), 885-894.
de Almeida MDV, Davidson K, de Morais C, Marshall H, Bofill S, Grunert KG, Kozlowska K, Lacasta Y, Martines S, Mattsson Sydner Y, Boel Nielsen H, Seltmann G, Szczecinska A, Raats M, Lumbers M, Food in Later Life Project Team (2005) Alcohol consumption in elderly people across European Countries: Results from the Food in Later Life Project. Ageing International, 30(4), 377-395.
Bofill Poch S (2005) Cuerpos inapetentes. La pérdida del apetito y la desgana en el proceso de envejecimiento en Cataluña. [Inappetent bodies. The loss of the appetite and lack of appetite in the process of aging in Catalonia] Monográfico: Alimentación, Salud y Cultura: Enfoques Antropológicos. [Monograph: Feeding, Health and Culture: Anthropological Approaches] Trabajo social y salud [Social Worker and Health] 51: 47-74.
Bofill S (2004) Aging and loneliness in Catalonia: The social dimension of food behavior. Ageing International 29(4): 385-398.
Davidson, K., Arber, S. and Marshall, H. (2008) Gender and food in later life: shifting roles and relationships. In Raats MM, de Groot CPGM, van Staveren WA (Eds.) Food for the ageing population. Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge, UK.
Dean M, Raats MM, Grunert KG (2008) Older people, food and satisfaction with life. In Raats MM, de Groot CPGM, van Staveren WA (Eds.) Food for the ageing population. Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge, UK.
de Morais C, Afonso C,Vaz de Almeida MD (2008) Older people’s consumption of alcoholic beverages: social significance and health implications. In Raats MM, de Groot CPGM, van Staveren WA (Eds.) Food for the ageing population. Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge, UK.
Pfau C, Saba A (2008) Preparing meals in later life. In Raats MM, de Groot CPGM, van Staveren WA (Eds.) Food for the ageing population. Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge, UK.
Hunter W, Raats M, Lumbers M (2007) Older adults. In Lawrence M and Worsley A (Eds) Public Health Nutrition: From Principles to Practice . Allen & Unwin, Sydney (background information related to project).
Lumbers M, Raats MM (2006) Food choices in later life. In Shepherd R and Raats MM (Eds.) Psychology of Food Choice. CABI Publishing, Wallingford. (background information related to project)
Niedzwiedzka E, Danowska-Oziewicz M, Słowińska MA, Cichon R, Szymelfejnik E, Waluś A, Wądolowska L (2005) Usługi żywieniowe śwadczone osobom starszym w kontekscie systematycznego przeglądu piśmiennictwa. In Gutkowska K, Narojek L (eds) Konsument zywnosci i jego zachowania w warunkach polskiego członkostwa w Unii Europejskiej, SGGW, Warszawa, pp. 307-312. (WP4 data from Poland)
Published (extended) abstracts
Afonso C, de Morais C, de Almeida MDV (2006) Alimentação em idade senior: Ecolaha de alimentos e refeiçoes para manter a independencia e qualidade de vida: A perspectiva Portuguesa. Alimentação humana 12(1), Supl. 1: 33-38.
Arber S, Marshall H, Meadows R, Raats M, Lumbers M, Davidson K (2005) Older people and food: the impact of gender and living arrangements on food consumption across European societies. Gerontologist 45 (Special Issue 2): 529.
D’Addezio L, Maccati F, Martines S, Turrini A, Saba A (2006) Food-related quality of life: explorative study on a sample of over 65 in Rome. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging 10(1): 75.
Danowska-Oziewicz M, Slowinska M, Cichon R, Szymelfejnik E, Walus A, Wadolowska L. (2004) Economic restrictions and products intake structure by elderly people. Pilot study - SENIOR FOOD QOL project. Żywienie Człowieka i Metabolizm [Polish Journal of Human Nutrition and Metabolism] 31, Supl. 1: 186-187.
Gustafsson K, Mattsson-Sydener Y, Nydahl M, Fjellstrom C, Sidenvall B (2004) Managing quality of life, health perceptions connected to food and meals: results from the Food In Later Life Project. Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging 8(6): 452
Heyer A, Krems C and Pfau C (2005) ‘Duteous old stagers’ or ‘satisfied minimalists’ – what are the typical patterns how older people prepare their meals? International Journal of Consumer Studies 29(4): 379.
Lumbers M (2006) Food in Later Life. Alimentação humana 12(1), Supl. 1: 3-8.
Pfau C, Heyer A, Seltmann G (2006) Mahlzeiten im Lebensverlauf – Was sagen Senioren dazu? Proceedings of the German Nutrition Society.
Pfau C, Heyer A, Krems C, Schuhmacher B (2005) Einkaufen und Lebensmittel auswählen – Was sagen Senioren dazu? Proceedings of the German Nutrition Society 7 , 31f.
Pfau C, Krems C, Heyer A (2005) Meal preparation: changes and problems in later life. International Journal of Consumer Studies 29(4): 377.
Raats M, Lumbers M (2004) O.6.6. The role of food and meals in sustaining independence and quality of life in old age: An EU-funded project. Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging 8(6): 457.
Raats MM, Lumbers M, Food in Later Life Project Team (2006) Methods used for collecting and handling multi-lingual qualitative data in the Food in Later Life Project. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 65, 116A.
Roszkowski W, Brzozowska A, Kozlowska K (2003) Nutrition and the elderly - 5 European Commission Projects. Geriatrics and Gerontology International 3: s129.
Slowinska M, Danowska-Oziewicz M, Cichon R, Szymelfejnik E, Walus A, Wadolowska L (2004) Meals-preparing skills and nutritional status of elderly people. Pilot study – SENIOR FOOD QOL project. Żywienie Człowieka i Metabolizm [Polish Journal of Human Nutrition and Metabolism] 31, Supl. 1: 205-206.
Szczecińska A, Kozłowska K, Gulińska E, Roszkowski W, Brzozowska A (2004) Choice of functional foods (yoghurts) in later life. Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging 8(6), 462.
Wądolowska L, Danowska-Oziewicz M, Słowińska MA, Szymelfejnik E, Niedzwiedzka E, Cichon R, Waluś A (2005) Text analysis and multidimensional statistical methods application for separation of elderly people's dietary behaviour. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism 49(S1): 376.
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