Increased fruit and vegetable intake among older adults participating in Kentucky’s congregate meal site program

Dawn Brewer, Emily Dickens, Alyson Humphrey, Tammy Stephenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if the amount and variety of fruits and vegetables consumed increased among community-dwelling older adults participating in Kentucky’s congregate meal site program following a series of five nutrition education lessons. A convenience sample of older adults attending senior centers (n = 35)—two intervention (n = 19) and two control (n = 16) centers—participated in this quasi-experimental pilot study. Following the intervention there was a significant increase in actual fruit and vegetable intake in the intervention group (p <.05) as assessed by platewaste measurements of the congregate lunch meal. In addition, from pre- to post-intervention, a trend towards increased self-reported intake in the variety of fruit and vegetables was observed among the intervention group. As well, a significant increase in the number of days intervention participants self-reported consuming at least 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables in the last 7 days (2.44 ± 2.09 days to 4.28 ± 1.99 days (p =.004)) was observed; and knowledge pertaining to phytochemicals increased (p <.05). The phytochemical index (PI) score of the lunch meal, taking into account that the older adults' consumption of meal components, including phytochemical-rich foods, was 26.9. Overall, study results indicated that a short theory-based nutrition education program offered to community-dwelling older adults was linked to an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption and phytochemical knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-784
Number of pages14
JournalEducational Gerontology
Volume42
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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