"You Can't Get a Side of Willpower": Nutritional Supports and Barriers in The Villages, Florida

Susan Tyler, Jaime Corvin, Philip McNab, Sarah Fishleder, Heather Blunt, Carla VandeWeerd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Good nutrition in late life is key to the health of older adults and demands the attention of health promoters. To assess how the social lives and community environmental supports and barriers affect older adults' nutritional health, we conducted 29 focus groups with 144 residents of The Villages, Florida. Participants reside in one of the largest retirement communities in the United States. Thematic analysis revealed that the high social connectedness of residents confers both positive and negative influences on the nutritional lives of residents. Neighbors and friends are essential to a resident's ability to access foods in times of need. Conversely, many social functions in the community revolve around the consumption of foods of low nutrient density. Friends and neighbors may provide the best point of entry for nutritional interventions, such as food assistance strategies and health promotion and education. Policy and practice implications are also discussed. © 2014

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-125
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • food assistance
  • nutrition education
  • older adults
  • social eating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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