Assessment of the healthy dietary diversity of a main meal in a self-service restaurant: A pilot study
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Authors: Bernardo, G.L., Pacheco Da Costa ProençA, R., Cristina Marino Calvo, M., Fiates, G.M.R. and Hartwell, H.
Journal: British Food Journal
© 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present a first proposal of a healthy dietary diversity index to evaluate meals in self-service restaurants. Design/methodology/approach – This was a cross-sectional, descriptive pilot study in a Brazilian buffet-style restaurant. The study group was selected by systematic sampling and consisted of 678 individuals aged 16-81 years, who were regular diners at a selected restaurant during lunchtime. Photographs were used to assess food choices and a sociodemographic questionnaire was administered to the subjects. A healthy dietary diversity model was created following WHO recommendations and the Brazilian Food Guide. A consensus workshop was conducted with experts to discuss and classify certain dishes as more or less healthy (high/low energy density). The model attributed negative (-3.0-0.0) and positive (0.0-12.0) scores to different food groups. Higher scores meant greater diversity on the plate, and therefore a greater chance of a healthy meal (¼9.0), while a lower score reflected a higher variety of energy-dense foods, such as fried dishes (¼6.0). Findings – Most diner’s plates (65.3 per cent) obtained low diversity score indexes (¼6) and were considered inadequate, represented the dishes where intake should be controlled from a nutritional viewpoint (over caloric meal). There was a significant association between healthy diversity scores (¼9.0) and low variety of high energy density dishes on the plates. Originality/value – This method of assessing the healthy dietary diversity of a main meal could be tested as an innovative model for investigating the food choices of individuals who eat away from home.
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Authors: Bernardo, G.L., da Costa Proenca, R.P., Marino Calvo, M.C., Fiates, G.M.R. and Hartwell, H.
Journal: BRITISH FOOD JOURNAL