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Nutritional assessment of free meal programs in San Francisco.

  • Author(s): Lyles, Courtney R;
  • Drago-Ferguson, Soledad;
  • Lopez, Andrea;
  • Seligman, Hilary K
  • et al.

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Free meals often serve as a primary food source for adults living in poverty, particularly the homeless. We conducted a nutritional analysis of 22 meals from 6 free meal sites in San Francisco to determine macronutrient and micronutrient content. Meals provided too little fiber and too much fat but appropriate levels of cholesterol. They were also below target for potassium, calcium, and vitamins A and E. These findings may inform development of nutritional content standards for free meals, particularly for vulnerable patients who might have, or be at risk of developing, a chronic illness.

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