Abstract| Volume 45, ISSUE 4, SUPPLEMENT , S8-S9, July 2013

Creating a Recipe for Success: An Emotion-driven, Communication Plan for Older Adult Nutrition Education


      Share the process for improving effectiveness of a nutrition education program for older adults using an emotion-driven, communication plan.

      Target audience

      Congregate meal participants.

      Theory, Prior Research, Rationale

      The Chef Charles Club was created in 2003 to provide monthly nutrition education to low-income, congregate meal participants throughout Iowa. Qualitative and impact evaluation have been used to measure program effectiveness and the program's theoretical framework was reviewed by an outside expert. In 2012, program staff determined that it was also important to update communication strategies to ensure that the program remains relevant to the lives of older adults going forward.


      Communication and marketing experts conducted 4 focus groups and individual interviews with program participants, non-participants and nutrition educators. The results were used to develop a research-based, emotion-driven communication plan that will guide program transformation in 2013 and 2014.


      Qualitative data results and feedback from program partners.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Qualitative research revealed powerful emotions and pulse points that could be used to enhance the effectiveness of the monthly newsletter and the educators’ communication strategies and facilitation skills. For example, nutrition educators must view education with older adults as transformational, not just informational. For older adult participants, the primary universal pulse point was the desire to be the best they could be—a form of achievement. Older adults wanted information that had a direct and immediate application in their lives. These and other findings were used to develop creative briefs and a communication plan that included a new program name and training video for educators.


      Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Education.