Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Independent Living Continuing Care Retirement Community Residents on Food Labeling and Knowledge of Diet-Disease Relationships

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Deidra Wood (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site:

Abstract: Older adults are striving to maintain their quality of life as chronic disease is frequently occurring among this rapidly growing population group. Independent-living older adult residents of Continuing Care Retirement Communities are provided meal plans allowing selective dietary decision-making that may be influenced by food labeling reading habits or diagnosis of chronic disease related to diet. Research regarding knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions toward food labeling and knowledge of diet-disease relationships is lacking among this population. A mixed method approach was used in this research study to explore food label practice and knowledge of diet-disease relationships as a minimally explored topic within the population, the older adult demographic. The research sought to determine the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of food label use and knowledge toward diet-disease relationships of independent-living older adults residing in two Continuing Care Retirement Communities. This research was conducted in two phases, a quantitative survey and qualitative focus groups, using a convenience sample of older adults residents (n=131) at two Continuing Care Retirement Communities in North Carolina. All participants completed the quantitative survey and were invited to participate in the focus group to further explore their beliefs towards the topics addressed in the survey. A total of 10 residents participated in the focus groups. For the quantitative data analysis, descriptive statistics, t-tests, and Fisher's exact tests were conducted with p-value set at 0.05. Focus group data from the qualitative phase were transcribed, coded, and refined into five major themes. All participants were [greater-than or equal to] 65 years, 50% over the age of 84. The majority of participants were Caucasian (99%) and female (79%). The results of food label practice revealed that although participants could be identified as the typical food label user with frequent use (86%) and high label knowledge (70%), they typically felt indifferent toward labeling without regards to personal health benefits. Regarding the diet-disease relationship component, this study revealed and confirmed that participants were aware of dietary habits that promoted health, but may not have necessarily wanted to change their dietary habits because they thought the diagnosis of a disease was indicative of a genetic predisposition and unrelated to diet. Further exploration with non-independent living older adult population groups from continuing care retirement communities may provide additional comprehension of the practices of food label use for the field of nutrition and dietetics, and older adult research. Dietetic practitioners may benefit from further research within the older adult population about their knowledge and beliefs regarding diet-disease relationships. Such insight may increase the effectiveness of nutrition professionals working with the older adult population to promote healthy aging.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Older Adults, Nutrition

Email this document to

This item references:

TitleLocation & LinkType of Relationship
Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Independent Living Continuing Care Retirement Community Residents on Food Labeling and Knowledge of Diet-Disease Relationships described resource references, cites, or otherwise points to the related resource.