175817 Improving nutrition and activity among older adults

Monday, October 27, 2008

Virginia A. Umland, RN , Department of Nursing, The University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
An objective of Healthy People 2010 is to increase participation of older adults in organized health promotion activities. As Americans are living longer, health practices that promote independent living and quality of life increase in importance. For older adults, good nutritional intake contributes to health, self-sufficiency, and quality of life (ADA, 2000). Healthy Eating for Successful Living in Older AdultsTM is an evidence-based program targeted to older adults teaching nutritional self-management using education and support for behavior changes. The weekly group sessions focus on the MyPyramid food guide and the 2005 dietary guidelines to improve heart and bone health. Participants learn to set reasonable nutritional goals, solve problems related to common nutrition self-management issues, and explore community exercise resources. This presentation will focus on the results of a pilot program presented to a group of older women (age range 60-69 years). Goals included presenting an educational program on the importance of calcium intake, demonstrating cooking a high calcium meal, encouraging socialization as the group ate the meal together, and evaluating how interested the group would be in an on-going nutrition program for older adults. Results of the pilot showed the interest this age group has for improving their health and diet. All participants recorded understanding the importance of eating enough calcium daily. Eighty percent learned new information about the Nutrition Facts Label to determine calcium benefits of a food product and all said they enjoyed the group luncheon. Sixty percent expressed interest in learning about other topics.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify healthy food choices and physical activities that promote cardiac and bone health. 2. Develop skills to set reasonable personal goals and to problem solve when faced with nutritional self-management issues. 3. Identify available community resources for physical activity.

Keywords: Community-Based Health Promotion, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have completed the pilot project involved with this presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.