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Efficacy of Nutrition Education-Based Cooking Workshops in Community-Dwelling Adults Aged 50 Years and Older

Moreau, Mireille, Plourde, Hugues, Hendrickson-Nelson, Mary, Martin, Joanne
Journal of nutrition in gerontology and geriatrics 2015 v.34 no.4 pp. 369-387
body mass index, cooking, eating habits, elderly, elderly nutrition, fruits, milk, nutrition assessment, nutrition knowledge, observational studies, questionnaires, risk, screening, t-test, vegetables, whole grain foods, Quebec
Nutrition interventions offer an opportunity to meet the nutritional needs of community-dwelling older adults. This retrospective qualitative observational study aimed to determine if nutrition education-based cooking workshops offered in Southern Quebec helped improve dietary habits and nutrition-related knowledge, autonomy, and confidence among older adults. Participants (n = 144) in an 8-session cooking workshop program completed pre- and post-workshop session questionnaires. Baseline nutritional risk (n = 116) and body mass index (n = 112) were assessed using the Elderly Nutrition Screening Questionnaire. Paired sample t-tests and McNemar analyses were performed to determine changes over time for knowledge, autonomy, confidence and dietary habits, and specific dietary behaviors, respectively. Pearson correlation tests were performed to assess associations between variables. Significant improvements were observed over time in knowledge, confidence, and desired dietary habits but not in autonomy. At the end of the intervention a greater proportion of participants reported always consuming recommended amounts of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, water, and milk or milk alternatives. A significant association was observed between confidence and dietary habits and between knowledge and confidence. Food skills interventions that link nutrition knowledge with cooking competence offer the opportunity to improve dietary habits among community-dwelling older adults.