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Choosing foods, eating meals: Sustaining independence
and quality of life in older people

Contract number : QLK1-2002-02447
Contract type : Shared Cost Project
Total cost : Under negotiation
EC contribution : Under negotiation
Starting date : not yet determined
Duration : 36 Months
Scientific Officer : Rosanna d'Amario
Project website : not yet available
Dr Margaret Lumbers
University of Surrey
School of Management Studies for the Service Sector
GU2 7XH Guildford
United Kingdom
Tel.: +44-1483-686379
Fax: +44-1483-689387
E-mail: m.lumbers @

The project will develop an integrated strategy to improve the nutritional well-being of older people and hence their independence and quality of life. It will identify the problems older people encounter in obtaining and preparing foods to meet their specific needs and preferences. Each stage in the process from purchase to consumption will be examined including food retail access, choice of products and meal preparation issues. The attitudes and beliefs that influence food choices will be surveyed including perceptions of food-related health risks, functional foods, nutritional claims and retail practices. The importance of activities related to food procurement will be reviewed including social roles and relationships, economic factors, health status and how these influence the quality of the diet. The project will lead to more effective systems of food delivery, product development and inform policy aimed at healthy ageing.


The key objectives are to generate longitudinal, qualitative and quantitative data on the relationship between food intake, nutrition, health and quality of life; to understand the specific food procurement and consumption requirements of older people living alone compared to those living with others; and to maximise implementation of the findings through active dissemination and consultation with stakeholders. The specific scientific objectives are to investigate: the extent to which convenience and health drive food selection; the interaction between food procurement and meal preparation skills; user satisfaction with food-related services; the role of formal and informal networks in food provisioning and consumption among older people; the role of meals in later life; and the relationship between food, nutrition, health and quality of life in older people.

(expected) Results and achievements

Pan European-databases on food selection, food procurement & meal planning/preparation in later life (month 18); food-related services available to seniors, the role of formal & informal networks in food procurement & the role of meals in later life (month 24); the relationship between food, nutritional well-being, health and quality of life (month 34) Month 36: Final report, recommendations and workshops on optimising the role food in sustaining independence and quality of life in old age.


(joint coordinator)
Food Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre (FCBHRC)
University of Surrey
United Kingdom

Instituto Nazionale di Ricerca per gli Alimenti e la Nutrizione
Via Ardeatina 546
00178 Rome
Federal Research Centre for Nutrition
Institute of Nutritional Economics and Sociology
Haid-und-Neu-Str. 9
76131 Karlsruhe
Universidade do Porto
Faculdade de Ciências da Nutrição e Alimentaçao
Rua Dr Roberto Frias
4200 - 465 Porto
Universitat de Barcelona
Departament d'Antropologia Cultural i Història d'Amèrica i Àfrica
Baldiri Reixac, S/N
08028 Barcelona
Uppsala University
Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences
Uppsala Science Park
751 83 Uppsala
University of Warmia and Mazury
Institute of Human Nutrition
ul. S_oneczna 44 A
10-726 Olsztyn
Uppsala University
Department of Domestic Sciences
Dag Hammarskjölds väg 21
752 37 Uppsala
The Aarhus School of Business
The MAPP Centre
Haslegaardsvej 10
8210 Aarhus V
Department of Human Nutrition
Warsaw Agricultural University (SGGW)
Nowoursynowska 159C
02-776 Warsaw
Sodexho Healthcare
Mandora Louise Margaret Road
GU112PW Aldershot, Hampshire
United Kingdom

Fifth Framework Programme

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