Does a high energy high protein diet reduce unintentional weight loss in residential aged care residents?

Lisa Michelle Sossen, Maxine Bonham, Judi Porter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Malnutrition and unintentional weight loss are known to occur in residential aged care facilities (RACFs). The use of oral nutritional supplements (ONS) and high-energy high-protein (HEHP) diets are two foodservice strategies that may be implemented in efforts to reduce unintentional weight loss in RACFs. This observational study aimed to determine whether incorporation of a structured high-energy high-protein diet (sHEHP) into the standard menu could reduce unintentional weight loss in RACF residents. RACFs in this study were facilities that provide long-term care to older adult residents. Weight change, body mass index and subjective global assessment scores of participants were measured at baseline and at six months across five RACFs receiving usual care with ONS or a sHEHP diet. Groups were different at baseline, with a high prevalence of severe malnutrition observed in the ONS group. Over the six-month period, there was a small but statistically significant difference in weight change within the groups: −1.64 ± 3.62 kg, ONS group; 0.56 ± 2.76 kg, sHEHP group, P = 0.0004. Both approaches investigated are feasible, however, future research using high-quality methods is needed to determine the most effective approach to deliver best practice nutrition care for residents into the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-68
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020

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