The bitter bread of old age? Social practices of nutrition among elderly people

Yuri Veselov, Olga Taranova, Junkai Jin

Research output


One of the most important tasks facing the sociology of food is studying social differentiation in eating and the nutrition practices of various social groups. This article considers the nutrition practices of elderly people and is based on an empirical study in St. Petersburg entitled 'Food and Us'. This included both in-depth interviews and telephone interviews held over 2016 and 2017, as well as an analysis of federal and regional statistics. What is revealed is the that, contrary to popular notions that elderly people eat very poorly, there are significant differences in nutrition among elderly groups. The basic factor that determines the nutrition model is higher education, which forms a rational and systematic approach to eating. In the first part of the article, the subject of sociology of nutrition and its theoretical background are examined. Then we consider how the nutrition of the elderly is structured by examining Rosstat and Petrostat statistics on diet regimes, social differences in nutrition, and eating out for elderly people. We study the relationship between health and nutrition, as well as the attitudes towards food based on the data of our own empirical research. In conclusion, we analyze the nutrition problems of the elderly and give some recommendations concerning the creation of healthy diets for the elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-94
Number of pages14
JournalZhurnal Issledovanii Sotsial'noi Politiki
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2018

Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The bitter bread of old age? Social practices of nutrition among elderly people'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this