Kelli Jo Hall

Date of Award


Degree Name

Family and Consumer Sciences


College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Susan Linnenkohl

Second Advisor

Carol A. Vickers

Third Advisor

Leonard J. Deutsch


The fact that people are living longer has heightened awareness of the elderly and many of their special needs. Due to this trend, experts have begun to more closely investigate caloric and nutrient needs of the elderly as well as factors that may alter dietary intake. Forty-two older persons in Lincoln County, West Virginia agreed to participate in research designed to explore the relationship between dietary intake and food availability among rural, community-based elderly. Participants completed a 38 item telephone questionnaire which provided information on demographics, grocery shopping habits, and dietary intakes. A second survey addressed food availability at all grocery stores that where indicated as those “most frequently shopped” by the sample. Upon completion of data collection, both surveys were coded, and data were input into the computer. Descriptive statistics and multiple regression were utilized in data analysis as determined by the main frame version of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. Results of the dietary intake survey indicated that the majority of the participants were Caucasian (n=42, 100.0%), female (n=29, 69.0%), and over the age of 75 (n=36, 85.7%). Most were overweight, and many reported no history of chronic disease. Overall, the sample was relatively healthy, which is atypical for the elderly population. Eight grocery stores were surveyed for food availability. One hundred percent of the stores provided fresh meats, poultry, fruits, and vegetables for purchase. Foods for a healthy diet were readily available for purchase in all grocery stores. A comparison between dietary intakes and food availability disproved the hypothesis as only two relationships of significance were found. This indicated that the dietary intake of participants was based on preference without regard to availability.


Older people – Nutrition – Research.

Older people – Research.


Older people – West Virginia – Lincoln County.