Food Habits and Foodwork: The Life Course Perspective of Senior Europeans

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Abstract:

In this cross-cultural, European study of 644 women and men, aged 65–98 years, food habits and foodwork were examined from a life course perspective. The study is a part of the"Food in Later Life – Choosing foods, eating meals:sustaining independence and quality of life" project, which was carried out in eight European countries using qualitative interviews for data collection. Informants in all eight countries reported experiences of a time when access to food was limited and when foodwork in the household context was extensive. Important transitions and turning points occurred during their lives, and marriage meant that women took on the role of food-givers and men the role of food-receivers. Other changes in relation to food habits and foodwork arose when they were suddenly alone, contracted a disease and retired. Loss of appetite, loneliness, frailty and disease in the last part of life were identified as a transition towards less elaborated meals.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/155280107X239845

Publication date: November 1, 2007

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