Dietary intake of older patients in hospital and at home: The validity of patient kept food diaries

Salah E. Gariballa, S. J. Forster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate the validity of a patient kept food diary in relation to weighted intakes and to measure dietary intakes of older people both in hospital and after discharge at home. Design: A randomly selected cohort of hospitalised elderly patients was recruited. All patients were instructed how to keep a record of all food and drink consumed and any leftovers. Food diaries were kept for up to seven days in hospital and for seven days in the community. In 18 consecutive patients dietary records were compared with weighed intake. Setting: Associate Teaching Hospital, United Kingdom. Results: A total of 116 patients participated in the study (median age 77 years, range 66-86 yrs; 49 female). We found significant correlations between food diary and weighted macronutrient intakes both in hospital and in the community. Overall the food diary predicted within ±17% weighted energy intakes in 70% of individuals. Compared with the National Diet and Nutrition Survey for free-living elderly people in the UK (1998), we found more or less similar energy and micronutrient intakes in hospital, but lower intakes at home. Conclusion: Patients kept food diaries can be used to identify those at risk of undernutrition and monitor those on nutritional support. It can also be used for nutritional education and for achieving dietary goals. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-106
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008


  • Dietary intake
  • Food diary
  • Older people
  • Weighed intake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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