Brown study shows meal delivery reduces loneliness among seniors

According to a Brown University study, home-delivered meals reduce loneliness among the senior population.

Congress passed the Older Americans Act in 1965 to support the struggling elderly, hoping to help them stay in their  homes. Part of the legislation included home delivery of meals for nutritional reasons. The study, however, has provided evidence that a home-delivered meal provides more than just nutrition.

“This continues to build the body of evidence that home-delivered meals provide more than nutrition and food security,” lead author Kali Thomas, an assistant professor (research) of health services, policy and practice in the Brown University School of Public Health and a researcher at the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said.

In the randomized, controlled-trial case, Thomas analyzed data from more than 600 study participants in eight cities. All participants had been on waiting lists for meal delivery services. A control group was left on the waiting list, while another group was given access to meal delivery. Researchers assessed loneliness at the start and at the end of the trial.

The results of the study will appear online in the Journals of Gerontology.

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