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Open AccessArticle

Improvement in Healthy Meal Index, Lunch Quality, and Diversity Scores Following an Integrated Nutritional Intervention in a Communal Dining Room: The NEKST Study

1
The S. Daniel Abraham International Center for Health and Nutrition, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva 8410501, Israel
2
Department of Health Systems Management, Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management and Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva 8410501, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1741; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061741
Received: 11 May 2020 / Revised: 2 June 2020 / Accepted: 8 June 2020 / Published: 10 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition and Public Health)
The objective of the NEKST (Nutrition Environmental Kibbutzim Study), a nonrandomized interventional study, was to evaluate the effect of an integrated intervention program on participants’ lunch quality and diversity in two communal dining rooms (intervention n = 58 vs. control n = 54). The intervention included recipe modification, environmental changes, and an education program. The outcomes included simple healthy meal index (SHMI), lunch quality (LQS), and diversity scores (LDS) calculated based on photographs of lunch trays. A nutrition questionnaire assessed the changes in fruit and vegetable intake at baseline and 3 months following the intervention. The mean SHMI, LQS, and LDS increased in the intervention group (0.51, p < 0.001; 0.27, p = 0.045; 0.95, p < 0.001, respectively) but not in the control group (p = 0.865; p = 0.339; p = 0.354, respectively). Multivariable linear models demonstrate an increase in the SHMI (β = 0.26, 95% CI [0.12–0.76], p = 0.015), LQS (β = 0.23, 95% CI [0.06–0.83], p = 0.024), and LDS (β = 0.34, 95% CI [0.41–1.39], p < 0.001) of the participants in the intervention group. More participants in the intervention group raised their daily fruit intake compared with the control. We conclude that this integrated intervention program was effective in improving lunch healthy meal index, quality, and diversity in a communal dining room, with a modest halo effect of the intervention throughout the day. View Full-Text
Keywords: catering service; integrated nutritional intervention; diet diversity; diet quality; simple healthy meal index; fruits and vegetables catering service; integrated nutritional intervention; diet diversity; diet quality; simple healthy meal index; fruits and vegetables
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Katz-Shufan, O.; Simon-Tuval, T.; Sabag, L.; R. Shahar, D. Improvement in Healthy Meal Index, Lunch Quality, and Diversity Scores Following an Integrated Nutritional Intervention in a Communal Dining Room: The NEKST Study. Nutrients 2020, 12, 1741.

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