Nutrition Services Program Participation and the Diet Quality of Older Adults

Nutrition Services Program Participation and the Diet Quality of Older Adults

Published: Nov 11, 2018
Publisher: Innovation in Aging, vol. 2, supplement 1
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Authors

Elizabeth Gearan

Katherine Niland

Congregate and home-delivered meals provided through the Title III-C Nutrition Services Program (NSP) can be an important source of nutrition for older adults. The NSP Outcomes Evaluation examined the quality of participants’ diets and the impact the program had on their diet quality. Data were collected from nationally representative samples of over 2,200 congregate and home-delivered meal participants and matched comparison groups of nonparticipants using 24-hour dietary recalls. The evaluation estimated usual daily nutrient intakes to determine whether diets met federal nutrition standards and estimated Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2010 scores to examine overall diet quality. Program meals contributed more than one-third of participants’ daily intakes of calories and key nutrients. Participants were more likely than nonparticipants to meet recommendations for several key nutrients, such as zinc and vitamin B6, and to receive higher scores on the HEI-2010. Thus, the program had positive effects on the diets of participants.

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