Barriers to nutrition as a health promotion practice for women with disabilities.

The purposes of this study were to examine the barriers to eating well experienced by women with physical disabilities and the services required to improve eating habits. Participants (mean age=48.9, SD=14.4) completed a questionnaire on health promotion behaviours (n=1096), which included a section on nutrition-related behaviours. Of the 31.8% who stated that they experienced barriers to nutrition, 88.9% wished to improve their eating habits. The most common barriers encountered were: too tired to cook (54.6%), organic/health foods too expensive (34.8%), nutritious foods too expensive (34.5%), lack of desire or will power (31.5%), government disability pension does not cover cost of food (30.6%), difficult to shop (25.1%) and not enough time for attendant to shop or prepare food (21.2%). The most common services identified to improve nutrition were: increase in disability pension (45.2%), assistance with shopping (31.3%), programs that deliver food (28.8%), increase attendant time for shopping/cooking (22.0%) and food box programs that provide single servings (20.1%). These results provide a holistic view of health-promoting behaviours in women with physical disabilities and suggest that greater emphasis should be placed on the individual in her social and structural environment when implementing programs for improving nutrition-related behaviours.