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Am J Public Health. 2007 Apr;97(4):710-7. Epub 2007 Feb 28.

Eat better & move more: a community-based program designed to improve diets and increase physical activity among older Americans.

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  • 1National Resource Center on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Aging, Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, Stempel School of Public Health, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, USA. nancy.wellman@fiu.edu



We assessed outcomes of an integrated nutrition and exercise program designed for Older Americans Act Nutrition Program participants as part of the Administration on Aging's You Can! campaign.


A 10-site intervention study was conducted. Preintervention and postintervention assessments focused on nutrition and physical activity stages of change, self-reported health status, dietary intakes, physical activity, and program satisfaction.


Of 999 enrollees, the 620 who completed the program were aged 74.6 years on average; 82% were women, and 41% were members of racial/ethnic minority groups. Factors associated with program completion were site, health conditions, and nutrition risk. Seventy-three percent and 75% of participants, respectively, made a significant advance of 1 or more nutrition and physical activity stages of change; 24% reported improved health status. Daily intake of fruit increased 1 or more servings among 31% of participants; vegetables, 37%; and fiber, 33%. Daily steps increased 35%; blocks walked, 45%; and stairs climbed, 24%. Program satisfaction was 99%.


This easy-to-implement program improves diets and activity levels. Local providers should offer more such programs with the goal of enabling older Americans to take simple steps toward successful aging.

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