What do prisoners eat? Nutrient intakes and food practices in a high-secure prison

Hannan-Jones, Mary and Capra, Sandra (2016) What do prisoners eat? Nutrient intakes and food practices in a high-secure prison. British Journal of Nutrition, 115 8: 1387-1396. doi:10.1017/S000711451600026X

Author Hannan-Jones, Mary
Capra, Sandra
Title What do prisoners eat? Nutrient intakes and food practices in a high-secure prison
Journal name British Journal of Nutrition   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1475-2662
Publication date 2016-04-28
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S000711451600026X
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 115
Issue 8
Start page 1387
End page 1396
Total pages 10
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract There are limited studies on the adequacy of prisoner diet and food practices, yet understanding these are important to inform food provision and assure duty of care for this group. The aim of this study was to assess the dietary intakes of prisoners to inform food and nutrition policy in this setting. This research used a cross-sectional design with convenience sampling in a 945-bed male high-secure prison. Multiple methods were used to assess food available at the group level, including verification of food portion, quality and practices. A pictorial tool supported the diet history method. Of 276 eligible prisoners, 120 dietary interviews were conducted and verified against prison records, with 106 deemed plausible. The results showed the planned food to be nutritionally adequate, with the exception of vitamin D for older males and long-chain fatty acids, with Na above upper limits. The Australian dietary targets for chronic disease risk were not achieved. High energy intakes were reported with median 13·8 (se 0·3) MJ. Probability estimates of inadequate intake varied with age groups: Mg 8 % (>30 years), 2·9 % (<30 years); Ca 6·0 % (>70 years), 1·5 % (<70 years); folate 3·5 %; Zn and I 2·7 %; and vitamin A 2·3 %. Nutrient intakes were greatly impacted by self-funded snacks. Results suggest the intakes to be nutritionally favourable when compared with males in the community. This study highlights the complexity of food provision in the prison environment and also poses questions for population-level dietary guidance in delivering appropriate nutrients within energy limits.
Keyword Prisons
Prisoner diets
Dietary intakes
Food practices
Diet intake methods
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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