• food choice;
  • tooth loss;
  • dietary guidelines;
  • socio-economic status;
  • older adults

doi: 10.1111/j.1741-2358.2012.00631.x Compliance with dietary guidelines in grocery purchasing among older adults by chewing ability and socio-economic status

Background:  Dietary guidelines promote good nutrition through healthy eating. Chewing deficiencies may hinder food intake while lower socio-economic status (SES) may restrict food purchasing. The aim was to examine compliance of grocery purchasing behaviour with dietary guidelines by chewing ability and SES.

Methods:  Adults aged 60–71 years in Adelaide, South Australia were surveyed in 2008. Dietary guideline compliance was measured using 16 grocery purchasing items. Chewing ability was based on a 5-item Chewing Index. SES was assessed using a subjective social status rating representing where people stand in society.

Results:  Responses were collected from n = 444 persons (response rate = 68.8%). Among dentate persons, 10.3% were chewing deficient and 21.3% were in the lower SES group. Prevalence ratios (PR: 95%CI) controlling for SES showed chewing deficiency was related to (p < 0.05) non-compliance with dietary guidelines in relation to bread (1.7: 1.1–2.5), juice (2.7: 1.6–4.5), tinned fruit (2.9: 1.5–5.6), yoghurt (2.1: 1.2–3.7) and tinned fish (1.5: 1.2–1.9).

Conclusions:  Chewing deficiency was associated with lower compliance with dietary guidelines in relation to fibre, sugar, fat and salt. Chewing deficiency may have a direct effect on diet as well as reflect a clustering of risk in relation to a range of health behaviours.