Department of Nutrition Student Projects

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Submission Date

4-14-2022

Document Type

Final Project

Degree Name

Master of Nutrition Science (MS)

First Mentor

Stephanie Petrosky

Second Mentor

Ioana Scripa

Abstract

Average life expectancy has steadily increased with each passing year and is estimated to continue increasing in years to come. Reports show that the number of people aged 65 or older has increased from 6% of the population in the 1960’s, to 12% in the year 2000, to 16% of the total population in 2015.1 This number is expected to increase to almost 20% of the population by the year 2050.1 Striving towards healthy aging can help the growing senior population to live the best possible life in their later years. Nutrition education is one area of learning and practice that can help enhance the life of the geriatric population. Recent research suggests that national and state-sponsored programs that provide nutrition education and information to elders will help increase health of elders and reduce government medical costs for this population.3 This pilot study analyzed the effect of nutrition intervention in a senior living facility to determine if a positive change occurred in nutrition awareness, education, and behavior in the senior population at the residence. The six-seminar nutrition series was delivered over a period of 6 months and the residents were asked to take part in a survey at the conclusion of the last seminar. Based on both paired and unpaired t-tests, the findings support a statistically significant change in the senior population of this study. Further research and nutrition programs are needed to assure that the nutritional knowledge and needs of the elder population are being met.

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