The ‘diabetic diet’: a web based survey for determining the incidence, rationale, composition and implications in Australian residential aged care facilities

Olivia Farrer, Alison Yaxley, K Walton, Rachel Milte, Michelle Miller

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)50-53
    Number of pages4
    JournalThe Journal of Nursing Home Research Sciences
    Volume3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Keywords

    • diabetic diets
    • older adults with diabetes
    • food service
    • menu
    • residential aged care

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