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The impact of visual media to encourage low protein cooking in inherited metabolic disorders

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Abstract Background: 

The use of educational visual aids is one way to help children with inherited metabolic disorders (IMD) understand and develop a positive attitude towards their low protein diet. However, it is difficult to establish their effectiveness in the clinical setting. The present study aimed to evaluate the impact of a low protein recipe book and accompanying DVD for children with IMD. Methods: 

One hundred and five children (53% female; median age = 6–8 years) with IMD on low protein diets were each given a low protein recipe book and DVD. After 6 months, children and carers were posted a questionnaire asking whether they used these resources; identifying any change in frequency of low protein cooking; and the outcome when preparing recipes. Results: 

One hundred and two questionnaires were returned, representing 105 patients. Seventy percent (n = 71) of questionnaires were from carers. Ninety-three percent (n = 66) of carers acknowledged receipt of the resource; one-third (n = 22) had not watched the DVD and 23% (n = 15) had not opened the recipe book; 55% (n = 36) had tried the recipes; and 71% (n = 47) said the recipe book and/or DVD motivated them to try new recipes. Children were more likely to have watched the DVD (75%; n = 21/28) and read the recipe book (86%; n = 24/28) than carers. Conclusions: 

Although a helpful educational tool, just over one-half of respondents had used the resource. Identifying visual media that, by itself, will motivate most families of children with IMD to prepare low protein recipes may be unrealistic. The combined approach of visual aids and ‘hands-on’ practical experience, such as low protein cooking workshops and individual counselling, may be more beneficial.
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Keywords: PKU; cooking; inherited metabolic disorders; low protein diet; recipes

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Dietetic Department, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Birmingham, UK 2: Institute of Child Health, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK

Publication date: 2009-10-01

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