Longitudinal examination of homebound older adults who experience heightened food insufficiency: effect of diabetes status and implications for service provision.
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PURPOSE: Healthful eating is important for optimal diabetes self-care. However, the level of food sufficiency may influence the degree of adherence to dietary self-care behaviors through the affordability of nutritionally appropriate food. This study examines whether homebound older adults with diabetes were at greater risk for heightened food insufficiency over 1 year, despite regular receipt of home-delivered meals. DESIGN AND METHODS: This was a longitudinal study of a randomly recruited sample of 268 homebound older adults in the Nutrition and Function Study (NAFS) who regularly received home-delivered meals and completed baseline and 1-year in-home assessments. Based on an economic context model, self-reported data were collected on fundamental and proximate factors, food-sufficiency status, and intervening events. Determinants of heightened food insufficiency were examined with multivariate logistic regression models. RESULTS: Not only did food-sufficiency status diminish over time in this sample, but it became or remained worse for older adults with diabetes. In addition to diabetes status, heightened food insufficiency was associated with perceived inadequacy of economic resources. IMPLICATIONS: Health care providers and nutrition programs should attempt to identify high-risk older adults - those who have diabetes and are at risk of food insufficiency - and develop community linkages and strategies that integrate nutrition with diabetes care plans, thus supporting a multidisciplinary, chronic care model to improve diabetes management and outcomes.
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