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. Tammy J. Stephenson


The aims of the Color Your Plate nutrition intervention were to increase intake of fruits and vegetables and increase motivators and decrease barriers to consuming fruits and vegetables rich in older-adults who regularly attend congregate meal sites. In this quasiexperimental pilot study, a convenience sample (n=35) of older adults at two intervention and two control sites completed pre- and post-surveys. Following the five-lesson curriculum, intervention participants reported greater intakes of fruits and vegetables (mean change increase of 3.47 ± 2.38 servings/week) and significant increases in days having consumed 4.5 cups or more of fruits and vegetables (p=.0004), incorporation of fruits and vegetables at dinner (p=.0035) and incorporation of fruits and vegetables in all meals combined (p=.0020). Additionally, significant decreases in self-reported barriers such as cost (p=0.0143) and difficulties with digestion (0.0005) and increases in motivators, such as support programs from family, friends, and peers (p=.0082) were found within the intervention group. The results of this pilot study indicate that the incorporation of theory-based nutrition lessons is linked to greater consumption of fruits and vegetables as well as decreased barriers and increased motivation to the intake of phytochemical-rich fruit and vegetables. Researchers interested in increasing dietary practices in older adult populations should consider exposure intervention techniques.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)