Eating Behaviors of Older Adults Participating in Government-Sponsored Programs with Different Demographic Backgrounds

  •  Shahla Wunderlich    
  •  Joseph Brusca    
  •  Marti Johnson-Austin    
  •  Yeon Bai    
  •  Michelle O’ Malley    


The purpose of this study was to determine the food behaviors of nutritionally high-risk seniors as a function of their racial background, gender, marital status, and education level. A total of 69 seniors were identified to be at high nutritional risk using the Nutrition Screening Initiative (NSI) checklist. A supplemental questionnaire (SQ) was created to examine the risk factors in relation to the participant’s demographic background. Key results indicated that Asians practiced healthy food behaviors and women were more likely to eat alone (p?0.05). Married participants (90.9%) were most likely to consume 2 meals or more each day. College educated individuals practiced healthier eating, eating 5 servings or more of fruits and vegetables (p?0.01) and 2 or more servings of milk and milk products (p?0.01). These preliminary findings indicate that more studies should be conducted to focus on the demographic characteristics and food behaviors among older populations.

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