Nutrition availability for those incarcerated in jail: Implications for mental health

Katherine Mommaerts, Nanette V. Lopez, Carolyn Camplain, Chesleigh Keene, Ashley Marie Hale, Ricky Camplain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Using a seven-day cycle menu and commissary items at a rural county jail, this study aims to describe provisions of micronutrients known to be associated with mental health disorders and if they meet dietary guidelines. Design/methodology/approach: The nutritional content of a seven-day cycle menu and four available commissary food packs were evaluated using NutritionCalc® Plus software (McGraw-Hill Education version 5.0.19) and compared to Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI). Findings: Menu mean values of Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C and zinc met DRI recommendations. However, Vitamin D (for men and women), magnesium (for men only) and omega-3s (for men only) did not meet the DRI recommendations. Originality/value: As deficits of Vitamin D, magnesium and omega-3s are known to exacerbate bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression, small changes to food would increase the offerings and potential intake of nutrients that may improve mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-362
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Prisoner Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 5 2023


  • Commissary
  • Correctional health care
  • Criminal justice system
  • Health promotion
  • Jail
  • Mental health
  • Nutrition
  • Psychological health
  • Psychological services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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