A qualitative exploration of progress, challenges, and opportunities in community nutrition services in Taiwan

Tse Chyang Wang, Chia Jung Lee, Hsin Yu Pan, Fong Ching Chang*, Kuei Chia Liang, Yi Hua Chin, Shu Ying Lo, Chao Chun Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: In 2018, Taiwan’s Health Promotion Administration funded the establishment of community nutrition centers in various cities and counties to prevent frailty among community older adults. This study investigated the current suite of community nutrition services and the challenges and opportunities therein. Methods: In total, 17 community dietitians from 14 counties/cities and 5 professional community health workers were interviewed. These community dietitians and community health workers underwent design thinking training, and its effects were evaluated. Results: (1) Services: The community dietitians reported that the current services provided by the community nutrition centers include older adult nutrition screening and surveys, nutrition education, consultations aimed at helping community centers and restaurants to establish healthy food environments, nutrition promotion, and the recruitment of dietitians and other personnel. (2) Challenges: The community dietitians reported that the challenges included a lack of human resources, a lack of reliable and valid dietary questionnaires, overly large variations in older adult–related nutrition needs and resources across multiple areas, difficulties in implementing nutrition education at an intensive and large-scale level, difficulties in evaluating the effects of nutrition education, obstacles in collaborations with other sectors, low uptake in dietitian recruitment, and difficulties in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. (3) Opportunities: The professional community health workers suggested strengthening community nutrition promotion, providing nutrition-related experiential learning opportunities, establishing collaborations among multiple sectors, presenting and promoting the community nutrition achievements of the centers, and applying design thinking to promote community nutrition services. The evaluation of the design thinking training intervention revealed its positive effects on increasing the knowledge, attitudes, and performance of community health workers and their intention to apply design thinking. Conclusions: Taiwan’s community nutrition centers play a key role in reinforcing healthy eating habits among older adults. This study provided insights regarding the challenges and opportunities pertaining to the promotion of community nutrition services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-537
Number of pages14
JournalTaiwan Journal of Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct


  • challenges
  • design thinking
  • nutrition
  • opportunities
  • services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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