Making the Most of Mealtimes (M3)

Making the Most of Mealtimes is the largest study of its kind to explore food and nutrition in long-term care, and the role of the mealtime experience.

Project Status: Complete

Project Description

Although it is both preventable and treatable, there has been very little research looking at the reasons behind poor food intake in long-term care, and how it can be improved. Making the Most of Mealtimes (M3) is the largest study of its kind to explore what residents living in long-term care eat and what factors promote better nutrient intake.

The study took place from 2014 – 2016. Information was gathered from over 600 residents, across 32 homes in 4 provinces (Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Ontario), and the key findings are in!

The research shows that:
- Daily food and fluid intake was low for many residents in the M3 study.
- The 9 nutrients most likely to fall below recommendations were vitamin D, vitamin E, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
- Residents who ate fewer calories and protein were more likely to be female, at risk of malnutrition, of older age, consumed pureed foods, had a number of eating challenges during mealtimes (e.g., trouble holding food in the mouth, little or no interest in eating), and required some but not total support for eating.
- Residents who ate more calories and protein were more likely to live in a memory care neighbourhood, need total eating assistance, and received person-centered care at mealtimes (e.g., their preferences, needs and values were respected).
- Residents who had better protein intake were more likely to live in homes with more dedicated dietitian time.

Project Lead

Project Team

Natalie Carrier, Université de Moncton - Co-investigator
Christina Lengyel, University of Manitoba - Co-investigator
Susan Slaughter, University of Alberta - Co-investigator
Catriona Steele, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute - Co-investigator
Lisa Duizer, University of Guelph

Research Topics