“Seniors that are malnourished are weaker, have less functionality and more hospital admissions,” said Dr. Lauri Wright, assistant professor in the USF College of Public Health’s department of community and family health. “It’s not a good course.”
As an advocate of the Older Americans Act, Dr. Wright decided it was time to gather more tangible data on the impact of home-delivery meal programs for the elderly to prove its importance to legislators.
Dr. Wright and Ms. Lauren Vance, alumna of the COPH who at the time was in search of a final special project topic, reached out to the Meals on Wheel (MOW) of Tampa to conduct a three month study examining the nutritional and behavioral outcomes of participants of the program.
The results of their study, “The Impact of a Home-Delivered Meal Program on Nutritional Risk, Dietary Intake, Food Security, Loneliness, and Social Well-Being,” is published in the of Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics June edition.