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Comparison of energy and protein intakes of older people consuming a texture modified diet with a normal hospital diet

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Abstract Background 

There are very few studies looking at the energy and protein requirements of patients requiring texture modified diets. Dysphagia is the main indication for people to be recommended texture-modified diets. Older people post-stroke are the key group in the hospital setting who consume this type of diet. The diets can be of several consistencies ranging from pureed to soft textures. Objective 

To compare the 24-hour dietary intake of older people consuming a texture modified diet in a clinical setting to older people consuming a normal hospital diet. Method 

Weighed food intakes and food record charts were used to quantify the patients’ intakes, which were compared to their individual requirements. Results 

The oral intake of 55 patients was measured. Twenty-five of the patients surveyed were eating a normal diet and acted as controls for 30 patients who were prescribed a texture-modified diet. The results showed that the texture-modified group had significantly lower intakes of energy (3877 versus 6115 kJ, P < 0.0001) and protein (40 versus 60 g, P < 0.003) compared to consumption of the normal diet. The energy and protein deficit from estimated requirements was significantly greater in the texture-modified group (2549 versus 357 kJ, P < 0.0001; 6 versus 22 g, P = 0.013; respectively). Conclusion 

These statistically significant results indicate that older people on texture-modified diets have a lower intake of energy and protein than those consuming a normal hospital diet and it is likely that other nutrients will be inadequate. All patients on texture-modified diets should be assessed by the dietitian for nutritional support. Evidence based strategies for improving overall nutrient intake should be identified.
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Keywords: elderly; energy and protein intakes; normal diet; texture modified diet

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust, Charing Cross Hospital, London, UK 2: Department of Speech and Language Therapy, London, UK

Publication date: 2005-06-01

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