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Social Factors Affecting Food Choices

The level of poverty is one of the most important social factors which affect the dietary choices of individuals. According to French et al. (2019), people with lower incomes tend to buy less healthful foods than those with higher salaries. Based on the information presented by the U.S. Census Bureau (2019), eleven percent of the Queens County population live in poverty. This makes it possible to assume that a large number of people living there may have unhealthy dietary habits. Items such as a 2-liter of soda and a bag of chips, which are sold at a local store, Key Food Bayside, Queens, NY, and cost $2.19 and 4.29 respectively, can be popular options for the local citizens.

Another social factor that can influence the choice of groceries which people tend to buy is age. Winter et al. (2016) discovered that older adults recognized the importance of a healthy diet and focused on trying to eat well. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2019), people who are sixty-five years old and over constitute more than sixteen percent of the Queens County population. It can be suggested that this demographic group may buy products such as vegetables and fruits, for example, a bag of carrots and a bag of organic apples, costing $2.00 and $4.99 respectively at Key Food.

The Public Health Intervention Wheel can be an effective tool for nurses to enable the prevention of diseases and solve health problems, including food security. Health teaching at the community level is the most relevant approach provided by the Intervention Wheel concerning the promotion of better dietary choices (Nies & McEwen, 2019). Community health nurses can use it to educate citizens about the foods and diets which are most beneficial for them and their well-being. Moreover, health teaching must be especially targeted at younger generations since people’s dietary patterns established during adolescence may affect their food choices later in life.


French, S. A., Tangney, C. C., Crane, M. M., Wang, Y., & Appelhans, B. M. (2019). Nutrition quality of food purchases varies by household income: The shopper study. BMC Public Health, 19(1), 1–7. Web.

Nies, M. A., & McEwen, M. (2019). Community/public health nursing: Promoting the health of populations (7th ed.). Saunders.

U.S. Census Bureau. (2019). Quickfacts. Web.

Winter, J.E., McNaughton, S.A., Nowson, C.A. (2016). Older adults’ attitudes to food and nutrition: a qualitative study. The Journal of Aging Research and Clinical Practice, 5(2), 114–119. Web.

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StudyKraken. (2022) 'Social Factors Affecting Food Choices'. 22 June.

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