|Objectives: With the increasing number of single households and so-called Honbab-jok, those who eat alone, people tend to enjoy convenient and simple meals, such as single dish meals. This study was performed to provide data on the energy and nutrient content, and nutritional adequacy of single-dish meal.
Methods: From the literature reviews, 61 types of single-dish meals were selected, and divided into 4 groups (steamed rice, noodle, porridge, and sandwich·burger), and a further 11 sub-groups (bibimbab, fried rice, topped rice, rolled rice/ warm noodle, cold noodle, seasoned noodle, dukgook/ porridge/, and sandwich, burger). In addition, 382 junior high school students from Gyeonggi, Sejong, Jeonbuk, and Chungnam areas were recruited for the survey. The survey questionnaires were composed of the characteristics, preference, and intake frequency of single-dish meals. The representative energy content (arithmetic mean) of single-dish meals were calculated, and compared with the energy contents of preference and intake frequency-weighted values adjusted. The representative nutrient contents, energy contribution ratio, and INQ (index of nutritional quality) of a single-dish meal were calculated for a nutritional adequacy evaluation.
Results: The study subjects considered a single-dish meal as tasty, simple and fast to prepare, inexpensive, nutritious, and no low calorie food. The preference scores of all but 1 sub-group of singledish meals were ≥ 5.00 (5.00~5.97), and 1 sub-group (porridge) was 4.67 on a 7-point scale. The intake frequency of 11 sub-groups were 0.31~1.71/week, porridge was the lowest at 0.31 and warm noodles was the highest at 1.71. Fried rice, rolled rice, and warm noodle" intake frequency were ≥ 1/week. The representative energy of steamed rice, noodle, sandwich·burger were 443, 429, and 428 kcal, respectively, and that of porridge was 264 kcal. Less than 5% differences in the representative energy of 4 groups were observed when adjusted for the preference or intake frequency-weighted values. The energy contribution ratio of macro-nutrients calculations showed that porridge was a high carbohydrate and low fat food, whereas sandwich·burger were high fat and low carbohydrate foods. The INQ of calcium and vitamin C were less than 1.0 in all 4 food groups, but the INQ of protein and thiamin were > 1.0 in all 4 single-dish food groups.
Conclusions: The representative energy in the 4 groups of single-dish meal was 264~450 kcal, which is a rather low calorie meal, and the energy contribution ratio of macro-nutrients were inadequate. The protein and thiamin levels were sufficient but the calcium and vitamin C levels were insufficient in all 4 groups of a single-dish meal judged by the INQ. The additional intake of fruits and milk·dairy products between meals with a single-dish meal, supply of calcium and vitamin C may increase, which will result in an improved nutritional balance.