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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


FERNANDEZ TORRES, Ángela; MORENO-ROJAS, Rafael  and  CAMARA MARTOS, Fernando. Nutritional content of foods offered and consumed in a Spanish university canteen. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2015, vol.31, n.3, pp.1302-1308. ISSN 1699-5198.

Objective: The prime objective of our work was to study the eating habits at lunchtime of staff and students at a University of "hidden due to confidentiality"of Spain. The second one was to attempt to reduce the energy consumption of cholesterol and fat in the diet of those groups. Setting: The study was made between 2010 and 2012 in the main canteen serving food at this university, focusing on food intake at lunch, the main meal of the day, containing between 35 and 40% of the total calories ingested throughout the day. Subjects: A total of 9530 observations were made, each one corresponding to the nutritional valuation of food eaten (a complete lunch) per person, by students, teachers and service personnel. Design: The study was carried out in 5 intervention stages and a previous non-intervention one to establish the habitual food intake of these groups. In each stage the nutritional information supplied to canteen users was increased to that in the final stage a modification of the price of the menus served was made. Analysis: The food choices freely made by the groups were converted into the amount of nutrients by means of a prior nutritional evaluation of the dishes offered via their calculation using the database Nutriplato®. This permitted the evaluation of 29 nutrients which, taking the user data observed, were converted into % of contribution to the RDA (per each population group), which produced a standardization of the data, permitting a subsequent statistical study by the GLM (SPSS v15) procedure to assess the effect of the different factors contemplated. Main Outcome Measure(s): The following were taken into account as classification factors (independent variables): sex, age group and level of body fat, as well as the intervention stage. The dependent variables were: energy, protein, lipid, carbohydrate, fiber, Ca, Mg, P, Na, K, Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn, I, Se, vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B8, B9, B12, C, A, D, E and cholesterol. Result: The mean energy and cholesterol intake was significantly reduced in the individuals investigated in the last two intervention stages. Moreover, those last two stages were statistically differentiated, the last one being that which presented the lowest intake of those nutrients. As positive collateral effects, although this was not a priority objective in the study, a greater statistically significant intake of vitamin D, B9, dietetic fiber, and calcium and a lower intake of sodium with respect to the initial stages were noted. Conclusions and implications: Our conclusions go in two directions: the positive effect of the nutritional information and the need to complement that information with economic measures that encourage still further food changes in population groups whose purchasing power is not very great.

Keywords : Canteen lunch; Young adults; Food choice; Catering; Healthy eating.

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