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Recommendations Summary

UWL: Diet Liberalization 2009

Click here to see the explanation of recommendation ratings (Strong, Fair, Weak, Consensus, Insufficient Evidence) and labels (Imperative or Conditional). To see more detail on the evidence from which the following recommendations were drawn, use the hyperlinks in the Supporting Evidence Section below.

  • Recommendation(s)

    UWL: Diet Liberalization

    For older adults the Registered Dietitian (RD) should recommend liberalization of diets with the exception of texture modification.  Increased food and beverage intake is associated with liberalized diets.  Research has not demonstrated benefits of restricting sodium, cholesterol, fat and carbohydrate in older adults.

    Rating: Strong

    • Risks/Harms of Implementing This Recommendation

      • To prevent potential adverse outcomes due to overconsumption of a particular nutrient, use clinical judgment.  

    • Conditions of Application

      Diet liberalization is an important component of person-centered care.

    • Potential Costs Associated with Application


    • Recommendation Narrative

      • Seven studies were evaluated regarding liberalized diets, meal patterns and composition in older adults. 
      • Three studies report little scientific evidence to support the use of restrictive diets in the elderly (Schatz et al, 2001; Simons et al, 2001; Tariq et al, 2001). 
      • Resident involvement in menu planning, as well as flexibility of the meal pattern and composition, may result in improved intake of food and fluid (Young and Greenwood, 2001; Kofod and Birkemose, 2004; Young et al, 2005; Taylor and Barr, 2006).

    • Recommendation Strength Rationale

      • Conclusion Statement in support of these recommendations received Grade I

    • Minority Opinions

      Consensus reached.