A brief intervention for malnutrition among older adults: Stepping up your nutrition

Matthew Lee Smith, Caroline D. Bergeron, Sue Lachenmayr, Leigh Ann Eagle, Judy R. Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Despite a multitude of nutritional risk factors among older adults, there is a lack of community-based programs and activities that screen for malnutrition and address modifiable risk among this vulnerable population. Given the known association of protein and fluid consumption with fall-related risk among older adults and the high prevalence of falls among Americans age 65 years and older each year, a brief intervention was created. Stepping Up Your Nutrition (SUYN) is a 2.5 h workshop developed through a public/private partnership to motivate older adults to reduce their malnutrition risk. The purposes of this naturalistic workshop dissemination were to: (1) describe the SUYN brief intervention; (2) identify participant characteristics associated with malnutrition risk; and (3) identify participant characteristics associated with subsequent participation in Stepping On (SO), an evidence-based fall prevention program. Data were analyzed from 429 SUYN participants, of which 38% (n = 163) subsequently attended SO. As measured by the SCREEN II®, high and moderate malnutrition risk scores were reported among approximately 71% and 20% of SUYN participants, respectively. Of the SUYN participants with high malnutrition risk, a significantly larger proportion attended a subsequent SO workshop (79.1%) compared to SUYN participants who did not proceed to SO (65.8%) (χ2 = 8.73, p = 0.013). Findings suggest SUYN may help to identify malnutrition risk among community-dwelling older adults and link them to needed services like evidence-based programs. Efforts are needed to expand the delivery infrastructure of SUYN to reach more at-risk older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3590
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2 2020


  • Fall prevention
  • Falls
  • Intervention
  • Malnutrition
  • Nutrition risk
  • Older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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