Objective To evaluate the impact of the National Meal Guidelines on service providers and caterers involved in home‐delivered and centre‐based meal programs in Australia. Methods An anonymous online survey was conducted to explore the uptake of the guidelines by participants and evaluate the impact on their practice. Closed questions were analysed using χ2 and Fisher's exact tests, while open‐ended questions underwent thematic analysis to identify key themes. Results A total of 101 out of 441 participants completed the survey (response rate of 23.0%). Most participants (69%) were currently referring to the guidelines, particularly for nutrition guidelines, menu planning and auditing tools. Key barriers to implementation were cost, supplier compliance issues and lack of staff education. Conclusions The National Meal Guidelines have been successfully implemented in many services around Australia. Further research should investigate their impact on customer satisfaction and external supplier compliance.
Available for download on Thursday, June 17, 2021