Author

Amanda Gray

Date of Award

5-4-2012

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Amy B. Porto, PhD, RD

Second Advisor

Mary Ann Mihok, PhD, RD

Abstract

Malnutrition is of increasing concern among the elderly. Home meal delivery programs target individuals with decreased access to food and increased risk of malnutrition. The purpose of this study was to assess the nutritional status of elderly Albanian meal recipients using the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA). Elderly meal recipients (n=31) were assessed using the MNA during July and August, 2011. Fisher’s exact test was used to compare the frequency of the malnutrition indicator score (MIS) categories to the frequency of individual responses to the MNA. The MIS revealed 65% of the elderly were at risk for malnutrition, 6% malnourished, and 29% with normal nutritional status. The malnourished and at risk MIS categories were significantly associated with MNA responses for food intake decrease, meat/fish/poultry consumption, and negative self-views of nutritional status and health status (p<0.05). A trend was observed in association of MIS categories with responses to number of meals per day and overall protein intake (p!0.1). Malnutrition was not prevalent among meal recipients although nearly two-thirds of the subjects were at risk of malnutrition. Future meal recipients who report a decrease in food intake or negative self-views of nutritional status or health status should be monitored for nutritional risk. The meal delivery program should work to provide meals containing adequate protein sources.

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