Background. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of an improved ambiance of food consumption on health and nutritional status of Dutch nursing home elderly residents (n = 38) in a 1-year intervention study. Methods. A parallel group intervention study was performed. Improvement of ambiance focused on three points: (1) physical environment and atmosphere of the dining room, (2) food service, (3) organization of the nursing staff assistance. Dietary intake, biochemical indicators of nutritional and health status and quality of life (Sickness Impact Profile and Philadelphia Geriatric Center Moral Scale) were assessed at baseline and after 1 year of intervention. Body weight, used as an indicator of compliance and nutritional status, was assessed every 4 months. Results. Twenty-two subjects completed the 1-year intervention trial. Mean body weight significantly increased ( 3.3 kg, P < 0.05) in the experimental group (n = 12), not in the control group (-0.4 kg, P = 0.78; n = 10). Health status biochemical indicators and the SIP score remained stable in the experimental group, indicating relatively stable health conditions. On the contrary, negative changes in the control group suggested a decline in health status. Dietary intake, which was insufficient at baseline, increased in both groups. Conclusions. This study showed that improving the ambiance of food consumption is a non-negligible issue for improving nutritional status and stabilizing health of nursing home residents.