Understanding Food Vulnerability and Health Literacy in Older Bereaved Men: a Qualitative Study

Jill Thompson, Angela Tod, Paul Bissell, Michael Bond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Older people are sometimes challenged in maintaining a healthy diet but, because of age and disadvantage, are also more vulnerable to the adverse health consequences of poor nutrition. It has been claimed that older adults have low levels of health literacy regarding food and struggle to discern which foods are healthy from the vast range available in developed counties (Br Herne 1995;97:12). However, nutrition and eating behaviour are modifiable risk factors for health in old age (Appl Physiol Nutr Keller 2007;32:991) and health benefits can accrue from promoting healthy eating later in life. In order to achieve these health benefits, it is necessary to understand more about the capabilities and vulnerabilities of older people in terms of acquiring and maintaining a healthy diet.
Objective:To understand the potential for issues around food vulnerability to arise in that group and to characterize that vulnerability, if present.
Design:Narrative interviews were conducted to collect the data. An interpretative thematic approach to analysis was utilized.
Participants:Twenty older, bereaved men from two communities in the North of England.
Findings:Five overarching themes were identified: financial security, social networks, cooking skills, food and routine and single servings.
Discussion:Our findings suggest that some older men experience cumulative benefit from resources at their disposal, which contributes towards their capabilities to avoid food vulnerability.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Expectations
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding Food Vulnerability and Health Literacy in Older Bereaved Men: a Qualitative Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this