Many diseases, including diabetes, are a result of unhealthy nutrition and lifestyle. These medical conditions affect millions of people in the United States, and older people in rural areas of the country are in a risk group for such diseases. Food and Life is a nutrition program that combines evidence-based approaches to dieting and lifestyle to help older residents of Colusa County improve their quality of life.
Creating a Program
Implementation of an evidence-based nutrition program focusing on obesity and diabetes prevention will serve the county’s community by improving the health outcomes of the residents. Such a plan will be relevant as nutrition plays a significant role in the development of these widespread medical conditions (Saslow et al., 2017). The list of possible partners of the program includes the Area III Agency on Aging, the Health and Human Service Department of Colusa County, and local volunteer organizations. The new program will be using the existing logistics and distribution network of The Senior Nutrition Program that operates in the county. The project will rely on the work of volunteers, public donations, and government funding. The goal of the program is to decrease the rate of obesity and diabetes among older adults in the county by providing nutrition and promoting healthy lifestyle choices.
Developing the Program
The program should be based on the latest research on methods of fighting and preventing nutrition-related diseases. These medical conditions affect a substantial portion of the population, and older adults are especially prone to their development due to the specifics of lifestyle and poorly balanced nutrition (Anders & Schroeter, 2015). Thus, Colusa County needs an evidence-based nutrition program that will improve the health outcomes of older residents by helping prevent diet-related diseases. Research has shown that low-carbohydrate and fasting-mimicking diets have positive effects on the symptoms of diabetes and contribute to weight loss (Wei et al., 2017). These data justified applying such methods for creating a nutrition program adapted to culture, lifestyle, interests, and specifics of life older adults in the county. The project needs to promote following the principles of the approach at home, providing suggestions to maximize the positive effect of the diet, and hold educational meetings and physical activity classes.
Implementing a Rural Community Health Program
Implementation of the program will require using a public site that is adequate for hosting events with the participation of a few dozens of people. The facilities of The Senior Nutrition Program that exist in the country can be used to distribute food, hold meetings, and give classes to older adults. The new project can widen the range of needs the Senior Nutrition Program focuses on and, in the future, will substitute it. It will be possible because the project is based on the latest research and uses complementary activities to increase its effectiveness. Part-time employment of dietary specialists and fitness couches who are qualified to work with the elderly will be needed for the implementation of the project. Evidence suggests that the program will have a positive effect on the health outcomes of its participants, allowing saving money on treatments of diseases it is aimed to prevent (Cheng et al., 2017). Thus, it is justified for government agencies to provide the program with financial and organizational support.
Evaluating Rural Programs
Evaluation of the effectiveness of the project will require choosing a set of measurable criteria. As the program focuses on the prevention of nutrition-related diseases, the changes in rates of such medical conditions in the county are the best long-term indicator of its success. Additionally, the program will require regular medical check-ups of the participants to monitor the effect the changes in nutrition and lifestyle have on every individual. Collecting the feedback from the persons who take part in the project will also help evaluate and improve it. The amount of money the program spends in relation to the rate by which it decreases the rates of the diseases is a monetary criterion that shows cost-effectiveness.
Planning for Sustainability
Sustainability and planning for the future are central to the effectiveness of the program, as it requires long-term operation for a maximum positive effect. It is necessary to rely only on the resources that will remain available in the future to achieve it. The program will focus on using the existing infrastructure and cost-effective, evidence-based approaches to nutrition with emphasis on foods that are healthy and affordable at the same time. Long-term partnerships with public organizations and charity funds will help avoid unexpected problems while running the project.
Disseminating Best Practices
Disseminating information is critical for attracting participants and promoting healthy eating among the people in the county. Using Internet advertisements via government platforms and promotional posters in public facilities to reach its audience will allow avoiding unnecessary spending of the budget. The program will also distribute educational printed material that is aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle and explaining the idea and evidence behind the project.
A combination of diet, exercise, and education about healthy life choices is vital for preventing many serious diseases. Together with reliance on the latest research in the field, these factors will allow the Food and Life project to have a positive effect on the health of its participants. Adequate implementation and regular evaluation of this program will guarantee its sustainable development and long-term success in meeting the goals.
Anders, S., & Schroeter, C. (2015). Diabetes, diet-health behavior, and obesity. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 6, 33.
Cheng, C. W., Villani, V., Buono, R., Wei, M., Kumar, S., Yilmaz, O. H., & Longo, V. D. (2017). Fasting-mimicking diet promotes Ngn3-driven β-cell regeneration to reverse diabetes. Cell, 168(5), 775-788.
Saslow, L. R., Mason, A. E., Kim, S., Goldman, V., Ploutz-Snyder, R., Bayandorian, H. & Moskowitz, J. T. (2017). An online intervention comparing a very low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet and lifestyle recommendations versus a plate method diet in overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 19(2), e36.
Wei, M., Brandhorst, S., Shelehchi, M., Mirzaei, H., Cheng, C. W., Budniak, J., & Cohen, P. (2017). Fasting-mimicking diet and markers/risk factors for aging, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Science Translational Medicine, 9(377), eaai8700.