Removing salt sachets from ward meal-trays does not affect patients’ nutritional intake.

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Removing salt sachets from ward meal-trays does not affect patients' nutritional intake.

J Ren Care. 2013 Jun;39(2):103-7

Authors: Ward J, Batt E

BACKGROUND: Reducing dietary salt intake lowers blood pressure and proteinuria, both of which are beneficial in preventing renal disease progression. Hospital meals are often accompanied by salt sachets, providing patients with additional salt.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of salt sachet provision by request only (i.e., the patient must ask for a salt sachet rather than the sachet being placed automatically on the tray), on meal consumption and salt intake. A secondary aim was to determine policy on salt sachet provision in other hospitals.
DESIGN: Salt sachet use and meal consumption was assessed on a renal ward over two weeks. Salt sachets were then provided 'by request only' and the assessment was repeated. Renal Nutrition Group members were surveyed to determine the policy of sachet provision in other hospitals.
RESULTS: Salt intake was significantly reduced during the period when salt was provided by request only compared with routine salt provision (p < 0.01). Meal consumption was similar during both periods. Salt sachet provision varied by hospital.
CONCLUSION: Providing salt sachets by 'request only' reduced salt intake without affecting meal consumption. This is now the adopted policy on the renal ward at our hospital.

PMID: 23621834 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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