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Meal Delivery Programs for Community Seniors: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness

Published on: January 22, 2019
Project Number: RC1060-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Devices and Systems
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report


  1. What is the clinical effectiveness of meal delivery nutrition programs for older adults living in the community?

Key Message

One randomized controlled trial (RCT) and two non-randomized studies were identified regarding the clinical effectiveness of meal delivery nutrition programs for community-dwelling older adults. Low quality evidence from one RCT and one single-arm non-randomized study showed that meal delivery nutrition programs may improve loneliness among older adults. The same single-arm study showed a positive association between meal delivery nutrition programs and self-reported well-being. Frequency of meal delivery does not appear to be a factor. Low quality evidence from one controlled non-randomized study showed that a meal delivery nutrition program was not associated with perceived improvement in quality of life among community-dwelling older adults. No evidence regarding independence or other mental health or psychosocial outcomes was identified.


geriatrics, aged, food, food services, health services for the aged, independent living, independent living, community living, delivery, meals, dining