Nutrition Education Tailored to West Philadelphia Patient Population

Diya Sabrina Chandra

Chandra, Diya Sabrina
University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Department of Preventive and Restorative Sciences, Division of Community Oral Health


Health promotion interviews were conducted as part of normal dental care visits. Questions during health promotion interviews assessed previous 24-hour food and beverage intake, overall dietary patterns, and typical intake of sugary or sweetened products. In addition, patients’ medical conditions were noted and analyzed for the role that nutritional choices play within the disease. Based upon patient dietary patterns and medical histories, primary literature review of nutritional guidance for the 4 most common dietary-modifiable medical conditions was performed. Recommendations from literature review were synthesized and distilled into an informative nutritional brochure with dietary suggestions for the patient population.

Project Overview

The primary population served by Penn Dental Medicine, patients within West Philadelphia, faces numerous social determinants of health. Of note, many of these factors affect their nutritional choices including poor proximity to grocery stores with fresh produce, low education about proper nutritional balance, and work schedules that make preparation of homemade, healthy food inaccessible. In turn, these barriers to nutrition lead to poor health and oral health outcomes that are often preventable by healthy dietary choices. Directly addressing these problems requires extensive city planning and policy changes; however, education can be supplied through health providers within the community. Therefore, accessible, evidence-based educational nutrition resources must be generated for patients.


A dietary resource was generated and has already begun to be disseminated to patients with widespread appeal. Recording dietary changes at the next health promotion visits and noting changes in health status will allow us to see the impact of this resource. Further research around the ability for this resource to change patient opinions and habits needs to be performed to evaluate this resource’s efficacy.