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.
Nutrition for healthy ageing
“Stay fit: eat more protein!” – Interviews with PROMISS member Prof. Marian de van der Schueren
Prof. Marian de van der Schueren, our PROMISS member from ESPEN (European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism), is spreading the word in the Netherlands on the importance of increasing protein intake for older adults.
“Stay fit: eat more protein!” published in a magazine for older people (KBO-PCOB Magazine) includes 7 robust tips from our PROMISS partner on how to ensure you’re getting enough protein and also lists 25 foods rich in protein such as tenderloin, salmon, milk, eggs or walnuts.
Addressing an even wider audience in the NRC (Dutch national newspaper), “Ageing healthy with proteins” also focuses on why protein is important for older people: “Proteins are essential for preserving muscle mass, resilience and your mental state”, explains Prof. de van der Schueren.
Read the full articles in Dutch here:
PROMISS scientific symposium at the 13th European Nutrition Conference FENS 2019
Appetite and Protein Intake Strata of Older Adults in the European Union: Socio-Demographic and Health Characteristics, Diet-Related and Physical Activity Behaviours
Yung Hung, Hanneke A. H. Wijnhoven, Marjolein Visser and Wim Verbeke
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 777; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040777
European older adults have been studied according to their appetite and protein intake profiles, and the relevant dietary and physical activity behavioural determinants were identified. A survey with 1,825 older adults aged 65 years or above in five European countries (Netherlands, United Kingdom, Finland, Spain and Poland) was conducted in June 2017.
Older adults with a poor appetite and lower level of protein intake is characterized by a larger share of people aged 70 years or above, living in the UK or Finland, having an education below tertiary level, who reported some or severe financial difficulties, having less knowledge about dietary protein and being fussier about food. This group also tends to have a higher risk of malnutrition in general, oral-health related problems, experience more difficulties in mobility and meal preparation, lower confidence in their ability to engage in physical activities in difficult situations, and a lower readiness to follow dietary advice. Therefore, effective dietary strategies to increase protein intake should take into account sensory properties, familiarity, affordability, accessibility and convenience.
Consumption of certain foods at a certain moment of the day and physical activity level or pattern were associated with a lower risk of having lower protein intake. Low level of physical activity emerged as a risk factor for having a lower protein intake in older adults with poor appetite, and vigorous physical activities between lunch and dinner were associated with a lower risk in older adults with good appetite.
This study provides an overview and highlights the similarities and differences in older adults’ profiles, as well as the challenges in promoting healthy ageing regarding protein intake. Recommendations for optimal dietary and physical activity strategies to prevent protein malnutrition were derived, discussed and tailored according to older adults’ profiles.