258564 Nutrition education and access to healthy food for low-income aging adults

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 2:42 PM - 2:54 PM

Ruthi Solari, CN, MS , SuperFood Drive, SuperFood Drive, Solana Beach, CA
Our efforts address two key issues affecting the State of California: nutrition insecurity and a steeply growing aging population at or below poverty level. In California, the elderly population in expected to grow more than twice as fast as the total population with an overall increase of 112 percent between 1990 to 2020. Unfortunately, this also means an increase in low-income elderly adults. The California Deparment of Aging administers nutrition services funded by the federal Older Amercicans Act, serving CA residents 60 years of age or older, with prefrence given to those in greatest economic or social need and to low-income, multi-ethnic individuals. According to Title III C-1 and Title III C-2, meals must meet nutritional standards by providing a minimum of 1/3 of recommended dietary allowance (RDA). A big problem is that many seniors are unaware of how to access meal services or that they may qualify for CalFresh benefits, which would help them with their weekly groceries. Even once groceries are bought, many aging seniors have little to no knowledge about how to eat healthy on a budget. There is a wealth of evidence linking obesity with lower socio economic groups and linking food insecurity with poorer diets. We see a huge need for nutrition education specifically targeting the low-income aging population and any organizations working with this population. Seniors have different dietary needs than other adults, and having access to healthy meals is key in prevention of diseases and maintenance of healthy during the golden years.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Define food insecurity as it applies to the aging population. Discuss the process by which an aging adult would go about applying for food assistance. List 5 healthy non-perishable SuperFood items to incorporate in preparing easy, affordable, healthy meals specifically for aging population. Name 1-2 local organizations where aging adults can contact to find out if they qualify for CalFresh (food stamp) food assistance. Provide basic nutrition education specific to a high-risk, low-income aging population.

Keywords: Nutrition, Low-Income

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a clinical nutritionist, currently working as a Nutrition Education Program Specialist for the county of San Diego. I am the founder and CEO of SuperFood Drive, a San Diego-based non-profit working with partner organizations to educate the community about the health benefits of eating nutrient-dense SuperFoods and working to ensure the accessibility of healthy food to all people, especially those in need.
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.

Back to: 3303.1: Nutrition and Aging