versión impresa ISSN 0212-1611
SANCHEZ-CAMPILLO, M. et al. Strategies for improving nutritional value of the meals offered by public nursing homes for the elderly. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2010, vol.25, n.6, pp.1014-1019. ISSN 0212-1611.
Background: In developed countries, elderly people are considered a group of high risk for possible nutritional imbalances, particularly if they are institutionalized. Objectives: In the present study, the nutritional value of the meals offered by public nursing homes for the elderly in province of Murcia (Spain) was assessed, to compare the results with Spanish recommendations and to propose possible strategies for improving the nutritional status of the residents. Methods: We studied 252 meals offered by six nursing homes, evaluating the energy and macronutrient contents, caloric profile, fat quality and cholesterol and fiber contents. The results were compared with Spanish recommendations for elderly people, and recommendations for a balanced and Mediterranean diet. Results and Discussion: The average energy content of the meals widely fulfilled the amounts of Recommended Dietary Intake for the elderly population. The caloric profile was adequate as regards proteins, low in carbohydrates and high in lipids. The fat quality was adequate, the cholesterol content was higher and the fiber content lower that the recommended amounts. Conclusions: Among possible strategies to improve the nutritional value of the meals, could be a reduction in the fat and cholesterol contents and an increase in carbohydrate and fiber contents, by replacing some red meat dishes by legumes, bread and refined cereals by wholemeal foods, and fat full dairy products by low fat equivalents.
Palabras clave : Elderly; Public nursing home; Menus evaluation; Dietary fat quality; Caloric profile.