With the European population growing older, the challenge is to keep an increasing number of seniors across all European countries healthy and active. In Europe, between 13.5 % and 29.7 % of older adults living at home are malnourished or at risk of protein energy malnutrition. PROMISS aims to better understand and ultimately prevent protein energy malnutrition in seniors. Thereby, PROMISS will contribute to improve active and healthy ageing.

Project information

Nutrition for healthy ageing


14th December 2017

Low protein intake, muscle strength and physical performance in the very old: the Newcastle 85+ Study

Antoneta Granic, Nuno Mendonca, Avan Aihie Sayer, Tom R Hill, Karen Davies, Ashley Adamson, Mario Siervo, John C Mathers, Carol Jagger

Clinical Nutrition 2017 Nov 9 (Article in Press).

As they age adults experience a progressive decline in muscle mass and strength which puts them at increased risk of falls, frailty, disability and death. Physical inactivity and a poor diet can accelerate this loss of muscle mass and strength. We aimed to investigate the relationship between an important part of the diet for muscle, protein intake, and muscle strength and physical performance in very old adults (aged 85 years) as they aged further. Our study, the Newcastle 85+ Study, was based in North East England, and involved 722 people aged 85 years old, with diet assessed by 24h recalls on two non-consecutive days. Low protein intake was defined as less than 1 g per kg of adjusted body weight per day (or around 65 g per day for an average weight individual). Muscle strength was measured by grip strength (squeezing a dynamometer for 5s) and physical performance was measured by the Timed Up-and-Go test (getting up, walking 3 m, walking back, and sitting again). Both grip strength and Timed-Up-and-Go were measured at age 85, 87.5, 88 and 90 years of age.

We found that very old women who had low protein intake had lower grip strength and Timed-Up-and-Go at baseline, but grip strength and Timed-Up-and-Go declined at the same rate as in women with adequate protein intake (1 g per kg of adjusted body weight or more). For men, there was no difference in the baseline measures or decline in grip strength and Timed-Up-and-Go between those with low or adequate protein intake. We found an added benefit of combining adequate protein intake (above 1 g per kg of adjusted body weight per day) with medium/high physical activity on muscle strength. This positive effect was not observed if medium/high physical activity was combined with low protein intake. We conclude that (a) low protein intake may negatively affect muscle strength and physical performance in late life, especially in older women and before age 85, independently of other important factors; and (b) a combination of adequate protein intake and physical activity may be necessary to reduce the loss of muscle strength in the very old.

Read the whole scientific paper here.

22nd November 2017

Prevalence and determinants of low protein intake in very old adults: Insights from the Newcastle 85+ Study

Nuno Mendonça, Antoneta Granic, John C. Mathers, Tom R. Hill, Mario Siervo, Ashley J. Adamson, Carol Jagger

European Journal of Nutrition 2017 Sep 25. doi: 10.1007/s00394-017-1537-5. [Epub ahead of print]

The very old, those aged 85 years and older, are the fastest growing age group in most western societies and are at especially high risk of malnutrition, as well as loss of muscle mass and strength. The amount of protein that the very old get from their diet, which foods provide the best source of protein and the time of day that such foods are eaten, are all factors that may play important roles in delaying or even preventing malnutrition and such information is essential to develop new food products and public health policies to better tackle the problem of malnutrition. Our study, the Newcastle 85+ Study, was based in North East England, and involved 722 people aged 85 years old, whose diet was estimated by a 24 hour multiple pass recall (people are asked what foods and drinks were consumed in the past 24 hours) on two non-consecutive days. We found that 28% of our population were below the commonly used protein intake target (0.8g of protein per kg of adjusted bodyweight per day) and that this group ate less meat, more cereals and had more non-alcoholic beverages than those who had adequate protein intake. After accounting for other factors, people in the low protein group were more likely to be men, had lower energy intake and fewer teeth. People with low protein also took more of their protein during the morning than those in the adequate protein intake group. This study provides new evidence of the magnitude of low protein intake in the very old, the sources of protein and the diurnal patterning of protein intake.

Read the whole scientific paper here.

25th October 2017

Join the CRN-I 8th Annual Scientific Symposium


Join the Council for Responsible Nutrition-International (CRN-I) in Berlin for its 8th annual Scientific Symposium—convenient to the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) meeting taking place 4–8 December in Berlin.

Healthy Aging, the Natural Consequences of Good Nutrition

CRN-I Symposium:

Saturday, 2 December, 0800 – 1700

Park Inn by Radisson Berlin Alexanderplatz Hotel 

CRN-I Reception: 

Sunday, 3 December, 1830 – 2100

H4 Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz (the CCNFSDU host hotel) 

See the CRN-I website for agenda and registration details.

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