Nutritional Interpretation of Hospital Diets for Elderly Patients With Chronic Diseases and Analysis of Factors Influencing Actual Intakes

Yasuko Fukuda, Mikako Ochi, Ryouko Kanazawa, Hiromu Nakajima, Keisuke Fukuo, Masanobu Nakai


Background: The provision of hospital meals is considered a therapeutic intervention, and a therapeutic diet consisting of a post-discharge meal sample is provided. For elderly patients who require long-term care, it is important to determine the significance of nutrition by taking into account hospital meals, including therapeutic meals for conditions such as diabetes. Therefore, it is important to identify the factors that influence this judgment. This study aimed to investigate the difference between the expected nutritional intake via nutritional interpretation and actual nutritional intake.

Methods: The study included 51 geriatric patients (77.7 9.5 years; 36 males and 15 females) who could eat meals independently. The participants completed a dietary survey to determine the perceived nutritional intake obtained from hospital meal contents. Additionally, we investigated the amount of hospital meal leftovers from the medical records and the amount of nutrients from the menus to calculate the actual nutritional intake. We calculated the amount of calories, protein concentration, and non-protein/nitrogen ratio from the perceived and actual nutritional intake values. We then calculated the cosine similarity and conducted a qualitative analysis of factorial units to examine similarities between perceived and actual intake.

Results: Among factors that constituted the large cosine similarity group (gender, age, etc.), gender was found as a particularly significant factor, with a high number of female patients (P = 0.014).

Conclusions: Gender was found to influence the appropriate interpretation of the significance of hospital meals. The perception of such meals as samples for post-discharge dietary practice was more significant among female patients. This demonstrated that in elderly patients, it is important to consider gender differences when providing diet and convalescence guidance.

J Clin Med Res. 2023;15(6):321-327


Geriatric patients; Hospital meals; Perceived; Actual; Cosine similarity; Non-protein calorie/nitrogen ratio

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