Relationships between food, nutrition and well-being for people living in regional retirement villages

Julie Reis, Judy Nagy

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In Western economies, advances in health and medicine have extended human life expectancies at the same time as birth rates have declined. The emerging skewed older population demographic has many consequences for housing, health care and economic development. These issues are global concerns with different impacts across city and regional locations as older citizens often become removed from increasingly mobile extended families. This chapter reports on outcomes from a study of the relationships between food, nutrition, and well-being for citizens living in two regional Australian retirement villages. Research initially focussed on the presumed importance for older adults of socialisation opportunities that food and food preparation provide for nutritional well-being. This presumption was dispelled by the combination of traditional research methodologies with a guided narrative inquiry, auto-ethnographic approach that recognises the importance of time, personal contexts, and space. Described is how the survey collection process and subsequent focus groups provided temporal and personal insights to assist with reflective data interpretation. The ‘culture’ and social mores of the retirement village community allowed data to be considered in ways that have proved more meaningful. Beginning with perspectives derived from broad-based literature about nutritional intake, food socialisation, and well-being for older adults, a narrative about the experience or ‘stories’ of data collection embedded within time and place is revealed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMaking sense of food
Subtitle of host publicationExploring cultural and culinary identities
EditorsSally M. Baho, Gregory A. Katsas
Place of PublicationFreeland, United Kingdom
PublisherInter-Disciplinary Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781848884656
ISBN (Print)9781848880115
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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