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You Can! Steps to Healthier Aging

Steps to Healthier Aging Mini-grant Awardees Announced

The National Policy & Resource Center on Nutrition & Aging at Florida International University , Miami , with support from the US Administration on Aging, announces the ten mini-grant awardees who will locally implement Eat Better & Move More , a community-based nutrition and physical activity program for older adults. These mini-grants are part of the new larger AoA You Can! Campaign announced by Assistant Secretary for Aging Josefina Carbonell at the Steps to a Healthier US National Summit on April 29-30, 2004 .

Mini-grant Awardees:

•  Active Aging, Inc., Meadville , PA

•  Alameda County , Area Agency on Aging, Oakland , CA

•  Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Shawnee , OK

•  Detroit Area Agency on Aging, Detroit , MI

•  East St. Louis Township , Senior Citizens Activity Center , East St. Louis , IL

•  Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioner , Tampa , FL

•  Kit Clark Senior Services, Federated Dorchester Neighborhood Houses, Inc., Dorchester , MA

•  Senior Services of Snohomish County , Mukilteo , WA

•  Southeastern Wisconsin , Area Agency on Aging, Brookfield , WI

•  Valley Program for Aging Services, Inc., Waynesboro , VA


Project Description

These ten awardees will implement Eat Better & Move More in Older Americans Act Title lll-C and Title VI Nutrition Programs. This multi-site study will enroll approximately 750 ethnically diverse participants, age 60 and over. Awardees will begin Programs at congregate meal centers, churches, neighborhood recreation centers, and housing complexes in urban inner city, suburban, and rural sites. Eat Better & Move More is based on successful pilot studies by the FIU Center . This community-based Program encourages older Americans to take simple steps for better health. Eat Better & Move More is designed to fit the interests and needs of older adults who want to maintain their quality of life and independence and live longer and better lives.


Pilot Projects

The Moving More component was piloted at a Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Center site in Miami , FL and several locations in Iowa . Results showed that the 115 adults, aged 61 – 90 years old with multiple impairments, had an 80% success rate wearing step counters and keeping regular logs of steps taken. Daily steps increased nearly 50% from a baseline of 100 – 10,000 steps to 430 – 13,000 steps.

The Steps to Healthy Aging: Eating Better & Moving More Guidebook was piloted in full program and comparison groups . The program group received step counters, education, and an organized walking program; older adults in the program group experienced a 62% increase in steps taken. They expressed interest in eating better and incorporating culturally appropriate foods. In contrast, the comparison group only used the step counters and did not receive education about eating better or moving more. On average, this group experienced a 24% increase in steps.


Program Content

The ten mini-grantees will follow the Steps to Healthy Aging Guidebook . The 12-week program consists of mini-talks on nutrition and walking. Nutrition mini-talks will emphasize the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables, the relationship of dairy foods with bone health, the importance of dietary fiber, and sensible portion sizes for older adults who are overweight or underweight. The Program uses step counters to encourage older adults to take more steps each day. There are mini-talks on s tretching, movement, walking in all weather, and healthy weight. The FIU Center will adjust the Program using lessons learned through this multi-site study to enable more Programs to be offered in communities. Findings will be shared with the policy makers, the aging network, and other public/private funders to help generate additional opportunities for local programs to start Eat Better & Move More Programs.


Anticipated Outcomes

The Center will compare pre- and post- study questionnaires on nutrition, health, and physical activity. Stages of change data will be collected. Areas to be studied include eating habits, physical activity; self reported health and appetite status, intention to make changes in current eating patterns and level of physical activity.

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National Resource Center on Nutrition, Physical Activity & Aging
| Florida International University, OE 200, Miami, FL 33199
Phone: 305-348-1517 | Fax: 305-348-1518 | E-mail:

This website is supported, in part, by a grant from the Administration on Aging, Department of Health and Human
Services (DHHS). Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their
findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, reflect official DHHS policy.