A whole grain intervention in older Americans nutrition program participants
Ellis, Jeanna Markese
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The purpose was to determine the effects of a nutrition education intervention on improving the knowledge, attitudes, and intake of whole grain foods in participants receiving congregate meals in senior centers in north Georgia. A convenience sample of subjects completed a pre-test at Time 1 (n = 95), the nutrition education intervention of 5 lessons at senior centers, and the post-test at Time 2 (n = 84, mean age = 75 y, 91% female, 73% white, and 27% African American). Among participants who completed both Time 1 and Time 2 (n = 84), most agreed that eating more whole grain foods would help reduce their risk of cancer (69% and 76%, respectively), heart disease (76% and 79%), Type 2 diabetes (65% and 68%), and bowel disorders (82% and 83%). However, at Time 1, consumption of 11 whole grain foods was low (10.5 servings/week). Following the intervention, participants were somewhat more likely to be able to suggest ways to recognize whole grain foods, such as ?first ingredient is whole grain? (5% vs. 20%, P = 0.05) and ?whole grain logo is on the package? (20% vs. 32%, P = 0.08); had improved knowledge that 3 servings of whole grain foods are recommended daily (38% vs. 52%, P = 0.06); and had modest increases in the intake of 11 whole grain foods (10.5 vs. 11.7 servings/week, P = 0.22) and the sum of 3 commonly consumed whole grain foods (bread, cereal, and crackers: 5.8 vs. 6.9 servings/week, P = 0.05) by about 1 serving per week. Also, 75% felt ?more strongly than before that eating whole grain foods will reduce the risk of disease.? In conclusion, this intervention improved several aspects of the consumption of whole grain foods, but continued intervention is needed to increase intakes to the currently recommended number of servings. The curriculum is available for download at www.arches.uga.edu/~noahnet.