Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Allergy Unit

Student research

Diet Quality and Nutritional Adequacy of Adult Patients Presenting to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit with Suspected Food intolerance

Tommy Wong
Master of Nutrition and Dietetics, The University of Sydney
Supervisors: Velencia Soutter, Robert Loblay, Anne Swain, Carling Chan, Kirsty Le Ray, Neelam Pun, Wendy Stuart-Smith, Amy Wu, Rajshri Roy, Margaret Allman-Farinelli
October 2015

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Aims: To assess and compare the diet quality and nutritional adequacy of patients with and without suspected food intolerance, presenting to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH) Allergy Unit.

Methods: All new adult patients were contacted by telephone, before their initial appointments at the RPAH Allergy Unit, to determine their eligibility. Eligible patients completed a 4-day weighed food record prior to their appointment. Patients were classified into two groups, depending on whether they proceeded to see a dietitian for dietary intervention or not. Those who proceeded to see a dietitian were described as having suspected food intolerance. Data was analysed using the software programme FoodWorks. Food items were classified into core and discretionary according to the standard used in the latest Australian Health Survey. Nutrient intake was compared against Australian and New Zealand Nutrient Reference Values, and food group intake was assessed using the current Australian Dietary Guidelines.

Results: The two patient groups showed different characteristics. The food group intakes were similar except for dairy foods and vegetables. The nutrient intakes were similar except for vitamin A, vitamin C and dietary fibre. Discretionary food contributed the most to overall diary food and calcium intake in both patient groups.

Conclusion: Despite the differences in patient characteristics, the food group and nutrient intakes were similar between the two patient groups with a few exceptions. Further study is needed to confirm the findings.