Orange napkins increase food intake and satisfaction with hospital food service: A randomized intervention

Daniela Abigail Navarro, Yair Shapiro, Ruth Birk, Mona Boaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Increased malnutrition risk has been identified in >30% of hospitalized adults in Israel. Because orange has been identified as an appetite stimulant, orange napkins were considered a low-cost enhancement of the meal context. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of an orange napkin on the meal tray on food intake and satisfaction with food service among adults hospitalized in an internal medicine department. Methods: One hundred and thirty-one patients hospitalized in Internal Medicine Department E, Edith Wolfson Medical Center, Holon, Israel, participated in the study. Patients were randomized to lunch trays with an orange (experimental) or white (control) napkin. Digital imaging was used with the modified Comstock Scale to quantify dietary intake. A validated questionnaire was used to score satisfaction with the hospital's food service. Medical history, anthropometric measures, reason for hospitalization, and meal modifications were extracted from the medical record. Results: Patients in the orange napkin group (n = 66) consumed 17.6% more hospital-provided food than those in the white napkin (control) group (n = 65), driven by the significantly greater proportion of the carbohydrate side dishes and the vegetable dishes consumed. Patients in the orange napkin group also reported significantly greater satisfaction with the hospital's food service. Conclusion: The addition of an orange napkin to the meal tray of patients hospitalized in internal medicine departments can increase dietary intake and improve satisfaction with hospital food services. At about 5 cents per piece, the orange napkin is a low-cost, easily implemented strategy to address malnutrition risk in hospitalized adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100008
JournalNutrition: X
Volume3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Dietary intake
  • Health outcomes
  • Hospitalized patients
  • Meal context
  • Patient satisfaction

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