AbstractsMedical & Health Science

Nutritional Assessment of Individuals who Utilize Services Available Through the Wood County Committee on Aging

by Adriene Jean Knight

Institution: Bowling Green State University
Department: Family and Consumer Sciences/food and Nutrition
Degree: MFCS
Year: 2009
Keywords: Nutrition; malnutrition; DETERMINE Checklist, Mini Nutritional Assessment; Geriatric Depression Scale; older adults; congregate meal sites
Record ID: 1854458
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=bgsu1245692500


The purpose of this study was to assess the nutritional status of participants of the congregate meal sites and the relationships with demographic characteristics, depression, and food insecurity. A convenience sample was drawn from all five of the congregate meal sites operated by the Wood County Committee on Aging in Ohio. Each site was visited by the research team once or twice depending on size. Data were collected via questionnaire, interview, and physical assessment using the DETERMINE Checklist (DC), Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA), Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), and Nutritional Assessment Survey. Anthropometric measures, included height, weight, mid-arm and mid-leg circumference. The 79 participants, 24% of those participating in the congregate meal program, were 78 ± 9.7 years of age (mean ± SD). Subjects were 57% female, White (100%), well educated (88% high school or higher), lived alone (65%), overweight or obese (81%), and exercised an average of 46 minutes/week. More individuals were considered at nutritional risk according to the DC (73%) than according to the MNA (36%). Sixteen percent of participants were found to be food insecure, and 22% were considered depressed. Correlations between the DC and MNA with the GDS were both significant (p < .01). Correlations between the DC and MNA with food insecurity were significant at p < .05 and p <.01, respectively. Correlations between depression and food insecurity were also significant (p < .001). The effect sizes for these correlations were very small or small. No relationships were found between nutritional risk and gender, employment, exercise, age, or education. Since those who are at nutritional risk for malnutrition are more likely to be depressed or be food insecure, it is recommended that a food security questionnaire and the GDS be administered together, and that clients be referred to the appropriate services according to the results. The high levels of risk for malnutrition, food insecurity, and obesity, confirm the importance of the congregate meal program in addressing the needs of older adults.