New materials help elderly avoid malnutrition

By Peter Kent

Elderly people Nutrition and food safety education materials are being tested to help prevent malnutrition in adults age 60 and older.

The information is culturally and regionally tailored and is being delivered to older adults attending 12 randomly selected group meal sites across South Carolina. The project focuses on poorer, rural, older adults, especially minority groups.

“The elderly are often at risk for nutritional compromise due to chronic illness, social inequality, social and psychological factors, and poor dietary practices,” said Angela Fraser, food safety specialist and lead researcher.

The eight one-hour education sessions focus on healthful and safe food choices, simple food-preparation practices, and safe food-handling practices. Researchers will follow up to determine if the materials affected participants’ health, using changes in weight and blood pressure as some of the measures.

“This project has the potential to impact health disparities and could have a positive economic impact by decreasing the need for medical care,” Fraser said. Funded by a USDA grant, the research hopes to lay the groundwork for programs that can be delivered across the state and nation.

 




For information: Angela Fraser, 864-656-3652, afraser@clemson.edu