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Food Insecurity in Older Adults in Canada and the United States: A Concept Analysis

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A concept analysis using the method of Walker and Avant was undertaken to clarify the concept of food insecurity in older adults in Canada and the United States. A literature review was undertaken to conduct a concept analysis of food insecurity in older people. Food insecurity is associated with multiple negative health outcomes and may be experienced differently by older adults as compared to younger adults. It is therefore important to understand the concept of food insecurity as is relates to older adults. Four defining attributes of food insecurity in older adults in Canada and the United States were identified: (i) inability to acquire or prepare enough food, (ii) compromising on food quality or preference, (iii) uncertainty or anxiety around the ability to acquire or prepare food, and (iv) socially unacceptable or non-normative practices. These attributes may allow for improved policies and programs aimed at addressing food insecurity in older adults by better meeting the needs of older individuals. Additional research into food insecurity as experienced by Canadian and American older adults could help to further clarify the concept.


  • By

    Christine Marie Mills, RD, MPH, PhD (candidate)

  • Published

    Feb 16, 2023

  • Subject Area
    • Food & Nutritional Support
    • Food Security and Nutritional Supports
  • Audience
    • Academics
    • Service Providers (Non-profits, Community Organizations, Local government)
    • Government (Politicians, Policy Makers) and Health Authorities
  • Category
    • Research & Evidence
    • Evidence-based & emerging practices


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