Journal of Aging Research & Clinical Practice 1 (2012). - p. 237 - 244.
Consumer Science & Intelligent Systems
Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Objectives: To explore whether or not the implementation of a holistic meal and ambiance concept has the potential to increase the meal enjoyment and/or influence food intake of the elderly in nursing homes who already eat in a social setting. Design: In a longitudinal design two groups of subjects (comparison group & experimental group) participated in a 12-week study encompassing an 8-week intervention. In the first four weeks, all residents consumed their normal main meals in the usual setting. In the following eight weeks, the intervention was applied to the experimental group (n=28). The comparison group (n=40) received no intervention. Both groups were interviewed twice (in week 4 and 12). Setting: Real-life setting (Dutch nursing homes). Subjects: Sixty-eight long-term nursing home residents with primarily somatic disorders. Results: The total amount of energy intake for the main meal showed no significant difference between the experimental and comparison group. However, in the experimental group a significant higher intake of vegetables, starch and applesauce and a lower intake of sauce was observed as well as an increased duration of the meal. The meal enjoyment was improved for the items time spent at the table and satisfaction with the amount of food. Conclusions: Within 8 weeks of intervention, duration of the meal, meal enjoyment and to a lesser extent food intake of nursing home residents can already be influenced. These influences were already achieved in a relative short time, which is promising for the long term.
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