Assessment of dietary intakes, nutritional risk and whole grain behaviors of community-residing adults age 60+ years
Older adults (OA) are not meeting MyPlate recommendations. Tailored lifestyle intervention programs have the potential to improve nutrition-related knowledge and dietary behaviors. Study 1 assessed the nutritional risk and dietary intake frequencies (DIF) of community-residing OA electing to participate in lifestyle intervention programs and sociodemographic characteristics influencing these behaviors. It was a cross-sectional study consisting of participants from three states who completed the Dietary Screening Tool (DST). Study 2 evaluated to what extent a three-week whole grain (WG) education program is able to impact WG behaviors. The program incorporated discussion, hands-on activities and taste-testing among OA. Participants were assigned to PowerPoint classes (n=13 sites) or discussion-based classes (n=12 sites). The DST and a non-validated WG questionnaire were completed pre and post.
Study 1 participants (n=352) were mostly college-educated, white females, age 60-70 years classified as "at nutritional risk" or "at possible nutritional risk." Participants had "low" DIF of dairy, lean protein and processed meat. Participants also had "moderate" DIF of added fats, sugars and sweets, total and WG, vegetables and whole fruit and juice. Whole fruit and juice DIF were influenced by state (p≤.001). Vegetable DIF were influenced by state (p=.021) and gender (p=.022). Processed meat DIF were influenced by gender (p=.033) and age (p=.001). Finally, nutritional risk was influenced by gender (p=.006). Study 2 participants (n=157) were mostly white, high-income females. Significant increases in WG knowledge were observed (p≤.001). "DST total grain and WG DIF" increased (p≤.001), with a positive correlation between post WG knowledge and "DST WG DIF" (p=.027). At post, more participants reported liking the taste of WG foods (p=0.019) and knew how to use a product's package to determine WG content (p≤.001). About 59.2% had a "strong" intention to eat more WG foods at post. A positive association between post intention to eat more WG foods and "DST WG DIF" was observed (p≤.001). Furthermore, WG knowledge was higher among those in the PowerPoint-based classes (p=0.002). These findings suggest community-residing OA are at nutritional risk. Additionally, a WG education program may be an effective strategy for increasing WG knowledge and encouraging improvements in WG intake among OA.