Positive Effects of “Textured Lunches” Gatherings and Oral Exercises Combined with Physical Exercises on Oral and Physical Function in Older Individuals: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

Abstract

Objectives

Proper nutrition and physical exercises are essential to prevent frailty in older adults. Proper masticatory performance and oral function may influence on physical activities as well since the mouth is the entrance of nutrition and digestion. Thus, the present study aimed to test the combined program of specially devised lunch gatherings containing textured foods with oral and physical exercises on the improvement of oral and physical function in community-dwelling older adults.

Design

A Cluster randomized controlled trial

Setting and Participants

Eighty-six community-dwelling older adults in Daito city, Japan, were randomly assigned into control (n = 43) or intervention (n = 43) groups.

Intervention

The control group performed the physical exercise regimen only. The intervention group participated in a 12-week physical and oral exercise program and ate a so-called “munchy lunch” that introduced textured foods with proper nutrients together after performing the physical exercise twice a week following brief dietary instruction at the intervention onset. Physical training and lunch gatherings were held at local public centers.

Measurements

The differences in measured variables for physical and oral function between baseline and 12 weeks of intervention were statistically tested. Results: Oral function as measured by tongue pressure increased significantly in the intervention group (p=0.031), but not in the control group. Physical properties and activities, including body fat percentage and results of the timed up and go test, decreased more significantly in the intervention group than in controls (p<0.05).

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that a combined program of textured lunch gatherings with oral and physical exercises may improve physical and oral function as a preventative approach for frailty in community-dwelling older adults.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Ms. Tomoko Irie and Ms. Shiho Yasumi of the Coomin Corporation and Ms. Nobuko Osaka of Daito city for management of the trial in Daito city, Osaka. This work was supported by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) program SICORP, Japan

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Correspondence to Koichiro Matsuo.

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Kito, N., Matsuo, K., Ogawa, K. et al. Positive Effects of “Textured Lunches” Gatherings and Oral Exercises Combined with Physical Exercises on Oral and Physical Function in Older Individuals: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial. J Nutr Health Aging 23, 669–676 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12603-019-1216-8

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Key words

  • Oral health
  • textured lunch
  • comprehensive program
  • frailty
  • dietary instruction