U.S study finds older adults not eating enough protein
A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging revealed that older adults in the U.S may not be consuming enough protein. Protein is important for older adults because as we age we naturally lose muscle mass, this age related gradual loss can lead to Sarcopenia increasing the risk of frailty and poor functional health that can often lead to falls and fractures.
The research team including Christopher A. Taylor, PhD, a dietician and associate professor at the Ohio State University in Columbus, examined data from 11,680 adults aged 51 and over. Looking at protein intake and physical function in these adults the team found that up to 46% of the oldest participants did not consume enough protein on a daily basis. A third of the participants were missing 30g of protein from their daily diets, which for an adult weighing 72.6 kilos this is equivalent to more than 50% of the recommended daily intake (the U.S recommends 0.8g per kg). Participants whose protein intake was lower than recommended levels often had a poor diet overall, consuming little amounts of plant proteins including beans, green veg and seafood. These individuals were also found to have ‘significantly more functional limitations.’