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Table 1 Themes and data sources

From: Interpersonal determinants of eating behaviours in Dutch older adults living independently: a qualitative study


Related codes from interviews

Related data from observations

1) Behaviours are shaped by someone’s context

Habits / traditions

Food motives:

- Habit / routine / used to (from the past)

- Going along with the social context / someone else chooses

Not directly observed. However, during the collective eating activities, there was limited choice in what to eat, and participants ate whatever was served (going along with the context).

2) Living alone influences (determinants of) eating behaviour via multiple ways

Food motives:

- Price / budget

- Easy / quick / saving energy (dishes)

- Living alone / feeling alone

Social context of a meal


From conversations during collective eating activities:

- The influence of living alone on life.

- Sociability as a reason to attend the collective eating activity.

3) There is a salient norm that people do not interfere with others’ eating behaviour

First association / interest eating and drinking

Food motives:

- Because someone else tells me (not) to

Paying attention to the behaviour of others / talking with other about eating and drinking

(Not) comparing own behaviour with others

From conversations during collective eating activities:

- Some older adults did seem to pay attention to others’ eating behaviour during the activity.

- The few conversations about eating were superficial, mostly about the foods on the table.

- Seeing or hearing about certain foods could raise someone’s interest to try it themselves (e.g. to try a meal service that someone else was talking about).

4) Older adults make limited use of social support (both formal and informal) for grocery shopping and cooking, except for organised eating activities in the neighbourhood

Informal support with meal preparation

Formal support with meal preparation

Grocery shopping

Observed while visiting the collective eating activities and the occasions of grocery shopping:

- Multiple facilities nearby

- Many older adults make use of it

From conversations at the weekly market:

- The weekly market was not only visited for grocery shopping, also to have a walk outside.