Online Program

Health and nutrition needs assessment among seniors across congregate dining sites in Southern California

Monday, November 2, 2015

M. Margaret Barth, PhD, MPH, Nutrition and Healthcare Management, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
Sangmin Kim, EdD, MCHES, Department of Public Health Sciences, California Baptist University, Riverside, CA
Candace Vickers, PhD, Health Sciences, California Baptist University, Riverside, CA
Stephanie Curnow, Student, Nutrition and Food Sciences, California Baptist University, Riverside, CA
Tom Donahue, Director of Nutrition, Nutrition, Family Services Association, Riverside, CA

The primary objective of this descriptive research project was to identify topics of health and nutrition interest among senior community members from multicultural backgrounds across 30 congregate dining sites in Southern California including Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, reported to have the highest rates of food insecurity in Southern California. A secondary objective was to determine general challenges and barriers to participating in the community-based dining program.  Responses from the seniors were obtained through in-person administration of the needs assessment survey instrument during the lunch period at the sites. Items of inquiry by section of the survey included demographics, health and nutrition topics of interest, frequency of participation in the congregate meal program, barriers to participation in the program; eating-related disorders. Preliminary, statistical analysis of data from initial sites showed that when seniors were asked how often they attend lunch services at their dining site in the last 30 days, 53% reported 11 to 20 times, 13% between 6 to 10 times, and 33%  between 1 to 5 times. When asked about topics of interest on nutrition and health, seniors responded they were interested in knowing about the following topics: nutrition and memory (56%), breakfast and performance (48%), protein and health benefits (48%), vegetarian diets (46%), caffeine intake (40%), calcium and bone health (40%).  Barriers to program participation included transportation and health-related issues. Further analysis of survey data should be beneficial for enhancing health and nutrition education approaches for seniors along with providing visibility and identifying solutions to barriers to participation.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Discuss health and nutrition topics of most interest to senior communities in Explain key barriers to participation in community dining programs by seniors

Keyword(s): Aging, Food Security

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been principal or co-principal of funded grants focusing on nutrition assessment and food insecurity among senior communities
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.