Publication Date



Preventive Medicine






Impaired mobility is the most common form of functional disability in the US, affecting one out of every sixteen working-age adults. Little is known about the barriers to and facilitators of healthy eating among people with impaired mobility (PWIM), who are at increased risk for diet-related chronic disease. The pathways by which impaired mobility influence dietary intake are unclear, yet likely involve a complex interplay between structural determinants of health and individual factors. To help advance nutrition equity initiatives for PWIM, this systematic review aimed to qualitatively synthesize factors associated with dietary intake across four levels of ecologic influence. An interprofessional team devised a comprehensive search strategy to identify these factors among working-age (18-64 years) PWIM. We queried Ovid MEDLINE, Web of Science, Scopus, and Embase via Ovid for articles published between January 1, 1990 and April 25, 2021. Twelve studies met our review criteria. We classified factors within one of four ecologic levels of influence: individual, social, environmental, and policy/program. Most studies disproportionately reported on personal level factors of influence, with less information on other levels of influence. This systematic review is an important first step for informing the design of evidence-based strategies to support healthy eating among PWIM. However, it also reveals a wide chasm in the needed information to adequately bridge structural determinants of this nutrition divide. More studies are needed that include rigorous measures of dietary intake and that aim to elicit how social, environmental, and policy-level factors contribute to dietary disparities among PWIM.


Adolescent, Adult, Diet, Diet, Healthy, Eating, Humans, Middle Aged, Nutritional Status, Young Adult

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