An educational intervention in Georgia Elderly Nutrition Programs improves knowledge and behaviors related to nutrition and physical activity
McCamey, Martha Allison
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The goal of this community-based, statewide intervention program was to improve the nutritional status, functional ability, and physical activity of older adults participating in Title III congregate meal programs in Georgia. A convenience sample (n = 501, mean age = 76, 17% men, 83% women, 65% Caucasian, 35% African American) completed the pre-test, a series of nutrition education and physical activity sessions, and post-test. The following measures showed significant improvements after the intervention (p<0.05): knowledge that 5 servings of fruits and vegetables are recommended daily (from 34 to 64%), consumption of vegetables, not including potatoes, carrots, or salad (from 1.6 to 1.8 servings/day), knowledge that saturated fat increases risk of heart disease (from 55 to 77%), walking speed in 8- foot-Up-and-Go (from 9.8 to 9.1 seconds), and performed leg exercises in the past week (from 55 to 82%). In conclusion, this intervention improved knowledge and behaviors related to nutrition and fitness.