Congregate Meals: Opportunities to Help Vulnerable Older Adults Achieve Diet and Physical Activity Recommendations
- 5 Downloads
Through diet and exercise interventions, community centers offer an opportunity to address health-related issues for some of the oldest, most vulnerable members of our society.
The purpose of this investigation is to draw upon nationwide data to better characterize the population served by the congregate meals program and to gather more detailed information on a local level to identify opportunities for service enhancement to improve the health and well-being of older adults.
We examined community center data from two sources: 2015 National Survey of Older Americans Act and surveys from two New York City community centers. To assess nationwide service delivery, we analyzed participant demographics, functional status defined by activities of daily living, and perceptions of services received.
Participants from the two New York City community centers completed a four-day food record. Functional measures included the short physical performance battery, self-reported physical function, grip strength, and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment.
Nationwide (n=901), most participants rated the meal quality as good to excellent (91.7%), and would recommend the congregate meals program to a friend (96.0%). Local level data (n=22) were collected for an in-depth understanding of diet, physical activity patterns, body weight, and objective functional status measures. Diets of this small, local convenience sample were higher in fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and lower in calcium, magnesium, and fiber than recommended by current United States Dietary Guidelines. Average time engaged in moderate physical activity was 254 minutes per week (SD=227), exceeding the recommended 150 minutes per week, but just 41% (n=9) and 50% (n=11) of participants engaged in strength or balance exercises, respectively.
Research is warranted to test whether improvements in the nutritional quality of food served and access/supports for engaging in strength training within community centers could help older adults achieve diet and physical activity recommendations.
Key wordsAging diet quality cognitive function physical function
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.US Department of Commerce. US Census Bureau Quick Facts: Persons aged 65 and older. US Government; 2017 Available: https://doi.org/www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045217.
- 5.Beasley JM, Deierlein AL, Morland KB, Granieri EC, Spark A. Is Meeting the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Protein Related to Body Composition among Older Adults?: Results from the Cardiovascular Health of Seniors and Built Environment Study. J Nutr Health Aging. 2016;20:790–6.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 11.Lehtisalo J, Ngandu T, Valve P, et al. Nutrient intake and dietary changes during a 2-year multi-domain lifestyle intervention among older adults: secondary analysis of the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER) randomised controlled trial. Br J Nutr. 2017;118:291–302.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 13.Beaucham. JT, L. Results from the Administration on Aging’s Third National Survey of Older Americans Act Program Participants. Washington DC. 2007.Google Scholar
- 16.Ciesielska N, Sokolowski R, Mazur E, Podhorecka M, Polak-Szabela A, Kedziora-Kornatowska K. Is the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test better suited than the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) detection among people aged over 60? Meta-analysis. Psychiatr Pol. 2016;50:1039–52.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 21.Physica. Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee report, 2008. To the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Part A: executive summary. Nutr Rev. 2008;67:114–20.Google Scholar
- 23.Santanasto AJ, Glynn NW, Lovato LC, et al. Effect of Physical Activity versus Health Education on Physical Function, Grip Strength and Mobility. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2017.Google Scholar
- 26.United States Department of Agriculture. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 21. Available: https://doi.org/ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list
- 30.Ziegler J, Redel N, Rosenberg L, Carlson B. Older Americans Act Nutrition Programs Evaluation: Meal Cost Analysis. Mathematica Policy Research. 2015.Google Scholar
- 31.Swain JF, McCarron PB, Hamilton EF, Sacks FM, Appel LJ. Characteristics of the diet patterns tested in the optimal macronutrient intake trial to prevent heart disease (OmniHeart): options for a heart-healthy diet. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2008;108:257–65.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar