Meals on Wheels : change in Central Texas participants’ self-perceived nutritional health risk and comparison of demographics to national averages.
Meals on Wheels (MOW), a federally-supported program, provides nutrition support to older adults. Research shows positive correlations between MOW participation and increased health status and quality of life. This study examined the change in MOW Waco (MOWW) participants’ self-reported nutritional health risk and compared prevalence of demographic risk factors associated with malnutrition to national averages. Study sample included 807 MOWW participants who completed a Determine Your Nutritional Health Survey (NRA) and participated in MOW during 2017 and 2018. Results showed 87.2% of participant’s NRA scores remained consistent or decreased while 12.8% of participants had higher scores. Higher rates of three demographic factors (self-reported health status, being a racial/ethnic minority and living in poverty) were found in the MOWW group when compared to national averages. MOWW services may reduce their participants’ nutritional health risk. Demographic risk factors suggest that this area of Texas is in greater need of these services.