Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Animal and Nutritional Sciences

Committee Chair

Melissa Ventura-Marra

Committee Member

Ida Holásková

Committee Member

Dina Jones


Falls are a serious threat to older adults' quality of life. Evidence is lacking regarding the influence of diet on fall risk factors. This study aims to assess the relationship between diet, functional measures, and fall risk among older adults participating in a fall-prevention intervention. Cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from 192 participants with an average age of 70.9 years was conducted using Chi-square tests, t-test, Wilcoxon test, and nominal logistic analysis. Based on Dietary Screening Tool (DST) scores, 39.5% of participants were classified as nutritionally being “at-risk,” 46.1% were at “possible-risk,” and 14.4% were “not-at-risk.” Fall risk was assessed using the Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries (STEADI) classifications. There were no significant associations between the “not at fall risk” group and “at fall risk” groups in terms of DST total score (p=0.97), protein score (p=0.27), multivitamin use (p=0.73) and DST risk categories (p=0.64). In the correlation analysis, the DST total scores had a positive correlation with total physical activities (r=0.1648, p=0.029), and a negative correlation with body mass index (BMI) (r=-0.1496, p=0.04) and depression (r=-0.1433, p=0.048). In the nominal logistic analysis, neither of the primary predictors, total DST score or DST protein score, showed significance with STEADI fall risk categories. In each model, the Four-Square Step Test (FSST), an indicator of greater risk of future falls, had the closet likelihood ratio test to the statistical trend as the major component associated with STEADI risk categories. A significant relationship between diet, functional measures, and fall risk was not detected.