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Nutrición Hospitalaria

versión On-line ISSN 1699-5198versión impresa ISSN 0212-1611


SAIZ IZQUIERDO, María Elena; FORNONS FONTDEVILA, David; MEDINA LUQUE, F. Xavier  y  AGUILAR MARTINEZ, Alicia. Analysis of food service and opinion of its users in a Catalan prison. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2014, vol.30, n.1, pp.213-218. ISSN 1699-5198.

Introduction: Studies on food services are increasing actually in Spain. However, there still is very little information on how this service is organized in prisons, and even less about how it is perceived by its residents. Objectives: To analyze the food service and menu in the Modelo Prison in Barcelona, and confront it with the perception of prisoners. Methods: Semi-structured open interview with an official of the Division of Prisons, participant observation in the dining room and other spaces by one of the study researchers, and a specifically designed questionnaire adapted to this kind of institution. Nutrition and menu quality assessment was performed using the DIAL program and healthy eating index (IAS). Results: The supplied menus usually contain an excess of fat (41.3%) and carbohydrate deficit (41.7 %) even if is acceptable under IAS score (58.4 points). 75% of residents uses the dining room for daily main meals, spending less than 15 minutes on average per meal. The space is considered very noisy. The portions are considered adequate, but the taste, quality and service of food are negatively valued. Discussion and conclusions: Some gaps between institutional proposals and everyday practices and perceptions of users are clearly denoted. Some changes in food and dishes served in the menus -such as reducing meat and increasing consumption of legumes- could contribute to improve nutrition, perception and final cost of the menu. A greater variety of food and more possibility of choice in the dining room and in the shop could be also positive. A strategic reorganization of the use of time and space in the dining room that would reduce the feeling of discomfort and noise could contribute to a better and more enjoyable use of it, while contributing to a better perception of food and welfare in general.

Palabras clave : Food habits; Nutrition; Prison; Food services; Perception.

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