Food related aspects in Long Term Care Institutions for Elderly in Minas Gerais

The nutritional inadequacy in Long Term Care Institutions for Elderly has been increasingly recognized worldwide as an important field of research. This crossectional and ecological study, featuring these kind of institution of the Minas Gerais state, Brazil, focus on differences by spending source (philanthropic or private spending), in relation to food issues. The descriptive analyses (median, proportions and dispersion measures) were conducted based on data from Fundação João Pinheiro. Among the 135 Long Term Care Institutions for Elderly, there were differences between proportions above 10% for the following variables: the possibility to eat outside regular hours, the previous definition of the weekly menu, setting the daily menu by the nutritionist, presence of nutritionists. Differences above 10% were also noted for the followings servings: some fruit for breakfast; some biscuit for breakfast; something more for breakfast; something else for lunch other than rice, meat and vegetables. In all these situations, the proportion was higher among private Long Term Care Institutions for Elderly. The findings also suggest low fruit consumption in these institutions. We conclude that philanthropic Long Term Care Institutions for Elderly are in disadvantage as compared to the private ones regarding food issues.