The low energy intake seen in some institutionalised elderly has led to a focus on energy dense diets. The present study aimed to investigate nutrient density in the diet of nursing home residents, and calculate how changes in energy intake affect nutrient intake.Methods:
The investigation comprised a longitudinal observational study analysing the relation between energy and nutrient intake in a general nursing home in Sweden. Food intake was weighed for 5 days every sixth month over 1.5 years and nutrient density was calculated. The 52 multimorbid residents [mean (range) age 84 (67-102) years] with three complete 5-day weighed food records were included in the study. A mixed linear model was used to calculate changes in nutrient intake with changing energy intake.Results:
Nutrient density was adequate for vitamins A, B12, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin, and low for vitamins D and E, folate, potassium, magnesium and iron. The mixed linear model showed that the fat-soluble vitamins, as well as folate and vitamin B12, increased the most with increasing energy intake, whereas sodium, potassium, thiamine and selenium had the smallest increase.Conclusions:
Nutritional density of the food should be considered when planning diets for elderly patients with poor appetite.