Community organized food and nutrition education: participation, attitudes and nutritional risk in seniors.
Sommaire de l'article
Evergreen Action Nutrition (EAN) is a health promotion program designed to facilitate relatively healthy members of a seniors recreation center to maintain their nutritional health as they age. A main goal of this project was to demonstrate the feasibility and relevance of using the community organization approach to develop a nutrition education program for seniors. METHODS: Using the current membership list, seniors were randomly selected to receive a mailed baseline (n=247) questionnaire. A follow-up survey (n=251) was sent out to randomly selected members three years later to determine participation in EAN and reported behavior change. Although not the same individuals, responses were compared to baseline to determine changes in nutritional risk. Items from the Diet and Health Knowledge survey were compared by EAN participation. RESULTS: The program had a large reach with 162 survey respondents (64.5%) reporting some level of participation and 51% reporting « frequent » participation. Use of informal forms of education predominated (e.g. displays). Significant differences were found between baseline and follow-up for risk attributed to low intake of fruits and vegetables and frequency of eating, with EAN participants having reduced risk of low fruit and vegetable intake. Those participating in formal education (e.g. food workshops) reported more frequent changes in food practices than those participating in informal activities. EAN participants appear to have more healthy nutrition attitudes/beliefs. CONCLUSION: The community organization approach to program planning and delivery leads to the development of diverse and appropriate nutrition education activities for seniors. Informal and formal health promotion activities can be successfully implemented in recreation centers.