Social Relationships, Food Security, Protein Intake, and Hospitalization in Homebound Older Adults: A PATH Analysis

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Institute of Global Health & Human Ecology

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Fayrouz A Sakr-Ashour, Edwina Wambogo, Nadine R Sahyoun

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics

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The objective of this study was to measure direct and indirect relationships between food insecurity (FI), protein intake, social relationships, depressive symptoms, and their impact on hospitalization among home-delivered meal (HDM) recipients, compared to controls, using structural equation modeling. The analysis used data from the National Outcomes Evaluation Study (2015-2017) of the OAANSP. HDM recipients' mean usual protein intake was significantly higher than controls, but both groups had mean intakes below recommendations. Eating alone was inversely associated with lower protein intake and greater hospitalizations in controls. FI, prevalent in 25.1% of HDM recipient and 16% of controls, was associated with lower protein intake in both groups. Receiving instrumental social support was directly associated with lesser severity of FI in recipients. and more depressive symptoms only in controls. HDM recipients and controls may be at high risk for protein insufficiency, underscored by high prevalence of FI.

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