A Nutritional Intervention to Reduce the Calorie Content of Meals Served at Psychiatric Rehabilitation Programs
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- Casagrande, S.S., Dalcin, A., McCarron, P. et al. Community Ment Health J (2011) 47: 711. doi:10.1007/s10597-011-9436-3
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To assess the effectiveness of an intervention to reduce the calorie content of meals served at two psychiatric rehabilitation programs. Intervention staff assisted kitchen staff with ways to reduce calories and improve the nutritional quality of meals. Breakfast and lunch menus were collected before and after a 6-month intervention period. ESHA software was used to determine total energy and nutrient profiles of meals. Total energy of served meals significantly decreased by 28% at breakfast and 29% at lunch for site 1 (P < 0.05); total energy significantly decreased by 41% at breakfast for site 2 (P = 0.018). Total sugars significantly decreased at breakfast for both sites (P ≤ 0.001). In general, sodium levels were high before and after the intervention period. The nutrition intervention was effective in decreasing the total energy and altering the composition of macro-nutrients of meals. These results highlight an unappreciated opportunity to improve diet quality in patients attending psychiatric rehabilitation programs.