Dietary Quality and Perceived Barriers to Weight Loss among Older Overweight Veterans with Dysmobility

Elizabeth A. Parker, William J. Perez, Brian Phipps, Alice S. Ryan, Steven J. Prior, Leslie Katzel, Monica C. Serra, Odessa Addison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Healthier diets are associated with higher muscle mass and physical performance which may reduce the risk of developing frailty and disability later in life. This study examined the dietary quality and self-reported weight loss barriers among older (>60 years), overweight (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2) Veterans with dysmobility (low gait speed, impaired mobility diagnosis, or a comorbidity that results in impaired mobility). Habitual dietary intake and healthy eating index (HEI-2015) were assessed using 24-h recalls and compared to US nationally representative dietary intake data and national recommendations. The “MOVE!11” Patient Questionnaire assessed weight loss barriers. The sample (n = 28) was primarily male (93%), black (54%) and obese (BMI = 35.5 ± 5.4 kg/m2) adults aged 69.5 ± 7.0 years with two or more comorbidities (82%); 82% were prescribed four or more medications. Daily intakes (mean ± SD) were calculated for total energy (2184 ± 645 kcals), protein (0.89 ± 0.3 g/kg), fruits (0.84 ± 0.94 cup·eq.), vegetables (1.30 ± 0.87 cup·eq.), and HEI-2015 (52.8 ± 13.4). Veterans consumed an average of 11% less protein than the recommendation for older adults (1.0 g/kg/d) and consumed fewer fruits and vegetables than comparisons to national averages (18% and 21%, respectively). Mean HEI-2015 was 17% below the national average for adults >65 years, suggesting poor dietary quality among our sample. Top weight loss barriers were not getting enough physical activity, eating too much and poor food choices. This data suggests that dietary quality is suboptimal in older, overweight Veterans with disability and highlights the need to identify strategies that improve the dietary intake quality of older Veterans who may benefit from obesity and disability management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9153
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • aging
  • dietary quality
  • impaired mobility
  • veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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