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P58 Healthy Eating and Staying Active as We Age Curriculum: Pilot Initial Efficacy

      Objective

      To assess changes in nutrition, physical activity, food safety, and food resource management practices as a result of participation in Healthy Eating and Staying Active as We Age (HESA).

      Use of Theory or Research

      Older adults are at a greater risk for malnutrition, chronic diseases, and falls. By 2034, older adults are projected to outnumber children for the first time in US history. Due to this shift in demographics, nutrition education and health-related resources for older adults has become increasingly critical.

      Target Audience

      Virginia SNAP-eligible adults (n = 278) ages 45 years and older.

      Program Description

      HESA is a nutrition education program developed by Virginia SNAP-Ed consisting of nine 60-minute lessons (including nutrition education, food tasting experiences, physical activity, and hands-on learning activities). Lessons were implemented by SNAP-Ed Peer Educators in community settings across Virginia.

      Evaluation Methods

      Paired t-tests were used to analyze pre- and post-intervention surveys rated on a Likert type scale. Participants’ food resource management, nutrition and physical activity, food safety behaviors, and perceptions of food accessibility and affordability were evaluated.

      Results

      A sample of HESA participants (n = 278) reported statistically significant (P < .003) improvements in frequency of shopping with a grocery list and planning their grocery shopping, consumption of fruits (2.73 ± 1.15 pre to 3.40 ± 1.18 post), vegetables (2.76 ± 1.22 pre to 3.39 ± 1.13 post), dairy (2.64 ± 1.18 pre to 3.14 ± 1.20 post), lean protein (3.15 ± 1.10 pre to 3.61 ± 1.03 post), sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs, 2.36 ± 1.26 pre to 2.00 ± 1.06 post), and physical activities levels (2.95 ± 1.22 pre to 3.27 ± 1.16 post). There were also statistically significant increases (P < .003) in the perceived affordability and accessibility of healthy foods, and perceived opportunities to be physically active.

      Conclusions

      SNAP-Ed implementing agencies such as Virginia's FNP are required to use evidence-based curricula. This was the initial step in the process of creating an evidence-based curriculum to address the needs of older adults.
      Funding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Education.

      Appendix. Supplementary data