Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems (MSNFS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Dietetics and Human Nutrition

First Advisor

Dr. Dawn Brewer


The purpose of this study was to determine if the amount and variety of fruit and vegetable intake increased among community-dwelling older adults participating in Kentucky’s congregate meal site program following a series of educational nutrition lessons. A convenience sample (n=35) of community-dwelling older adults at two intervention (n=19) and two control (n=16) senior centers in central Kentucky participated in this quasi-experimental pre-post pilot study. Following the intervention there was a trend towards increased self-reported intake in the variety of fruit and vegetables among the intervention group (range:0.03±3.31 to 1.32±2.75 servings per week); a significant increase in the number of days participants incorporated at least 4.5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day intake; significant increases in the incorporation of fruits and vegetables in evening meal, and all meals (p≤0.05); and phytochemical knowledge (p≤0.05). Actual fruit and vegetable intake at the congregate meal increased post-intervention among the intervention group only (p≤0.05) as measured by plate waste. The mean Phytochemical Index score was 25.4, with participants consuming 79% of the phytochemical- rich component to their meal. These results indicate that theory-based educational nutrition lessons among older adults is linked to favorable trends towards increased fruit and vegetable consumption and phytochemical knowledge.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)