Dr. A. Bernstein and colleagues did a home-based nutrition intervention studied for 6 months in community-dwelling, with functionally impaired elderly. 70 men and women older than age 70 years were randomized. Two groups were set: a nutrition education intervention and a control group that received an exercise intervention. Nutrition education was designed to increase vegetable, fruit, and calcium-rich food consumption.
The scientists used a food frequency questionnaire. Fasting blood measures of nutrients and carotenoids were performed together with a proper statistical analysis. Compared with the exercise group, subjects in the nutrition group increased their self-reported intake of fruits by 1.1 servings per day, vegetables 1.1 servings per day, and milk/dairy 0.9 servings per day.
The doctors in the study suggested that it is possible to improve the dietary intake of community dwelling elders. This dietary improvement includes more fruits, vegetables, and calcium-rich foods. The scientists and doctors at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston also made some interesting recommendations: this increase in consumption of vegetables, fruits, and calcium-rich foods should be specific in order to meet the dietary pattern and lifestyle of each individual.