Education Intervention Has the Potential to Improve Short-Term Dietary Pattern among Older Adults with Undernutrition

Samantha C. Vijewardane* (Corresponding Author), Aindralal Balasuriya, Alexandra M. Johnstone, Phyo K. Myint

*Corresponding author for this work

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Low-cost educational interventions to improve dietary pattern is a pragmatic solution to prevent undernutrition in low- and middle-income countries. A prospective nutritional education intervention was conducted among older adults aged 60 years or above with undernutrition with 60 people in each intervention and control group. The objective was to develop and evaluate the efficacy of a community-based nutrition education intervention to improve the dietary pattern of older adults with undernutrition in Sri Lanka. The intervention consisted of two modules to improve the diversity, the variety of diet, and the serving sizes of food consumed. The primary outcome was the improvement of the Dietary Diversity Score (DDS) and the secondary outcomes were the Food Variety Score and Dietary Serving Score, which was assessed using the 24 h dietary recall. The mean difference in scores between the two groups was compared using the independent sample t-test at baseline, two weeks and three months post-intervention. Baseline characteristics were comparable. After two weeks, only the difference in DDS between the two groups was statistically significant (p = 0.002). However, this was not sustained at three months (p = 0.08). This study concludes that nutrition education interventions have the potential for short-term improvement in dietary patterns in older adults in a Sri Lanka setting.
Original languageEnglish
Article number56
Number of pages14
Issue number3
Early online date17 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2023

Bibliographical note

We gratefully acknowledge Sanuthmi Thasara Ambepitiya for coordinating the participants in the intervention and for the participants of the study.


  • dietary pattern
  • older adults
  • nutrition education intervention
  • community-based


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