Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Allergy Unit

Student research

The impact of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Elimination Diet on diet quality and nutritional adequacy

Imogen Hooper
Master of Nutrition and Dietetics, The University of Sydney
Supervisors: Velencia Soutter, Robert Loblay, Anne Swain, Brooke McKinnon, Carling Chan, Kirsty Le Ray, Wendy Stuart-Smith
October 2014

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Aim: The aim of this study was to assess and compare dietary intake and nutritional adequacy of patients at the RPAH Allergy Unit before their initial appointment and during their time on the RPAH elimination diet.

Method: Patients were called one week prior to their initial appointment at the RPAH Allergy Unit to ascertain suitability and interest for the study. A suitable candidate was one who was suffering from symptoms suspected to be food intolerance related, over the age of 16, and had never undertaken the RPAH elimination diet before. 4-day weighed food records were used to record candidates' dietary intake, which included supplement use, both before and on the elimination diet. Data was combined with early 2014 and 2013 data for analysis. Dietary intake was analysed in FoodWorks7 and compared to the Australian and New Zealand Nutrient Reference Values (NRV) and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (AGHE) recommendations.

Results: 116 before elimination diet WFRs were analysed and 31 on-elimination diet WFRs were analysed. The study showed an improvement in the average consumption of the recommended serves of core food groups for the on elimination diet group from 61% to 82%. There was a marked decrease in the average consumption of discretionary items by those on the elimination diet from 130% of maximum serves allowed to 90%. Micronutrient intake exceeded the Recommended Dietary Intake and Estimated Average Requirement values for both before and on elimination diet groups for most micronutrients but there were inadequate intakes of folate and calcium, which improved on the elimination diet.

Conclusion: The study shows those on the elimination diet do not face adverse nutritional implications overall. In fact, their diets demonstrate a more closely aligned intake to the AGHE recommendations and NRVs.