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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.



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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