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Taste preference for oral calorie supplements in children with cystic fibrosis, healthy children and healthy adults

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Background: Calorie supplements are commonly prescribed to improve the nutritional status of children with cystic fibrosis. Although the palatability of these products has been extensively researched in adults, little work has been carried out in either healthy children or children with cystic fibrosis. The aim of this study was to identify which type of supplement was preferred by children with cystic fibrosis, healthy children and healthy adults.

Methods: 23 children with cystic fibrosis, 65 healthy children and 40 healthy adults were recruited to the study. All were asked to taste four of the main types of prescribable supplements available and indicate which they preferred.

Results: The preference score for the fresh milk supplement was significantly higher than the scores for the other three supplements. There was no apparent difference between the taste preferences of the three groups studied.

Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that children with cystic fibrosis have similar taste preferences for calorie supplements to healthy children and adults. The fresh milk supplement was preferred by the majority of the subjects, which suggests that when starting a patient on calorie supplements a fresh milk product should be offered first. The preference testing method used here is quick and easy to do and may be useful for assessing patient preferences at the bedside.

Keywords: calorie supplements; cystic fibrosis; taste preference

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute of Child Health, Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital, Eaton Road, Liverpool L12 2AP, UK 2: Department of Dietetics& Nutrition, Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital, Eaton Road, Liverpool L12 2AP, UK 3: Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary & Westfield College, London EC1M 6BQ, UK

Publication date: 1999-08-01

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