Publication Details

Walton, K., Charlton, K. E., Manning, F., McMahon, A. T., Galea, S. & Evans, K. (2015). The nutritional status and energy and protein intakes of MOW clients and the need for further targeted strategies to enhance intakes. Appetite, 95 528-532.


There is a paucity of literature about the nutritional status and energy and protein intakes of Meals on Wheels (MOW) clients. The current study aimed to determine the nutritional status and the adequacy of energy and protein intakes of MOW clients. Forty-two clients were recruited from two MOW services in the Illawarra region of Australia for assessment of their nutritional status, using the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA®). Estimated energy and protein intakes for a MOW day were compared to a non- MOW day and average daily energy and protein intakes were assessed against estimated daily requirements. A single dietitian performed all assessments and home based interviews to explore the client's perception of the service. Mean daily energy intake (7593 (±2012) kJ) was not significantly different to estimated requirements (7720 (±975) kJ) (P ¼ 0.480), while mean daily protein intake was higher (78.7 (±23.4) g) than calculated requirements (68.4 (±10.8) g; P ¼ 0.009). However 16 clients were identified as at risk of malnutrition and 2 were malnourished; consuming 2072 kJ (P ¼ 0.000) less energy and 20.4 g less protein (P ¼ 0.004) per day compared to well-nourished clients. MOWclients are at risk of being poorly nourished and meals delivered by the service provide an important contribution to overall intakes. These findings support the need for regular nutrition screening and dietary monitoring in this high risk group, to identify those for whom additional strategies may be indicated.



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