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THE ‘DIABETIC DIET’: A WEB BASED SURVEY FOR DETERMINING THE INCIDENCE, RATIONALE, COMPOSITION AND IMPLICATIONS IN AUSTRALIAN RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE FACILITIES

O. Farrer, A. Yaxley, K. Walton, R. Milte, M. Miller

Jour Nursing Home Res 2017;3:50-53

Background: Historically, diabetic diets are typically limited in carbohydrate, energy and food choices and may limit overall oral intake in older adults with diabetes. Objective: This study aims to evaluate the extent to which Australian residential aged care facilities still offer a diabetic diet, the rationale for providing and composition of this diet, and with consideration for implications this may have for residents with diabetes. Design: A web-based survey about current food service practices, menu design and specifically about meal provision for residents with diabetes was emailed to participants. Participation was voluntary. Setting: Web based survey to Australian residential aged care facilities. Participants: 2075 food service managers or staff of similar responsibility within the organisation. Results: More than half of the respondents (n=121, 59%) still provide a diabetic diet because it has historically always been offered or as advised by their dietitian. Respondents frequently offered a menu comprising food restriction rather than the liberalised diet promoted by current recommendations. Conclusions: Findings from this study demonstrate that there is inconsistency in practices. Dietary restriction is still a feature of diabetes management which may increase risk of malnutrition and affect resident quality of life. There does appear to be a need for widely endorsed aged care specific guidelines for best practice.

CITATION:
O. Farrer ; A. Yaxley ; K. Walton ; R. Milte ; M. Miller (2017): The ‘diabetic diet’: a web based survey for determining the incidence, rationale, composition and implications in Australian residential aged care facilities. The Journal of Nursing Home Research Science (JNHRS). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jnhrs.2017.8

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