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Keywords:

  • hospital meals;
  • nutritional standards;
  • renal inpatients;
  • weighed food analysis

Abstract

Background The Renal Nutrition Group (RNG) of the British Dietetic Association has developed standards for the nutritional composition of meals provided to renal patients in hospital. However, no data are available as to whether these are achievable. The purpose of this study was to determine whether renal inpatient meals can meet the standards set by the RNG.

Method A prospective 10-day weighed food analysis of hospital meals provided to renal patients was undertaken. Two sample meals were analysed at each mealtime to include (1) the most energy dense choice and (2) the most frequent patient choice (FPC).

Results Energy dense choice meals achieved the standard for protein provision on 90% of days, but provided too little energy on 100% of days (for men) and on 30% of days (for women). Although daily standards for potassium were met on 70% of days, those for sodium and phosphate were exceeded. FPC meals met the daily standards for potassium, sodium and phosphate on at least 80% of days, but provided too little protein on 40% of days and too little energy on 100% of days (for men and women).

Conclusion The majority of hospital meals fail to meet the RNG standards. Problems exist in providing sufficient energy and protein whilst restricting sodium, potassium and phosphate.