The purpose of this descriptive study was to assess the nutritional adequacy of diets consumed by elderly individuals who ate at least one of their meals at two selected nutritional sites located in a rural county in Northeast Mississippi. The sample was comprised of 31 clients, aged 60 or older, who were present at the nutritional sites on the days of data collection and were willing to participate in the study. The researcher hypothesized that : 1. Elderly individuals eating at selected nutritional sites would meet 100% of the recommended caloric intake, and at least two thirds of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs). 2. There would be no significant differences in the daily food intake in the elderly subjects at the two nutritional sites. A researcher-designed questionnaire was used to collect demographic data and a 24-hour food recall survey was used to record nutritional intake. Analysis of the diets was performed using Nutritional II, which determined the percentage of RDAs for 38 different nutrients and caloric intake according to the individual’s age and sex, the intake of cholesterol and fiber, and the rates of protein, carbohydrates, and fats in the diet. The data were submitted to statistical analysis using the ^ test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) at a .05 level of significance. The statistical analysis revealed that caloric intake for subjects was significantly below the recommended dietary allowance. Analysis showed that elders’ diets met or exceeded two thirds of RDAs for all nutrients except magnesium, zinc, and folacin. Thus, Hypothesis I was rejected. Statistical analysis also revealed a significant difference between the diets of the subjects at two sites in intakes of 19 nutrients and led to the rejection of the second null hypothesis. Subjects at Site B had significantly lower intakes of protein, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, vitamins E and B g , niacin, folacin, and 10 amino acids than subjects at Site A. Conversely, subjects at Site B had significantly higher intakes of thiamine than those at Site A. Subjects at Site A also had significantly higher intakes of fiber, histidine, protein, and carbohydrates, and a significantly lower intake of fat than subjects at Site B . When comparing demographic variables of the two sites. Site B had significantly lower levels of income, education, vitamin usage, self-health rating, and dental condition. The researcher concluded that the reasons subjects at Site B had more deficient diets, poorer dental status, and health ratings may be race, low income, and/or lack of education.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Dr. Rayma Skinner

Second Advisor

Dr. Phyllis W. Werner

Third Advisor

Dr. Mary Patricia Curtis

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons