PROMISS stands for “PRevention Of Malnutrition In Senior Subjects in the EU”.
In Europe, 90-95% of older adults live at home. Among them, about 21% is malnourished or at risk of malnutrition.
PROMISS therefore aims at conducting research on prevention of malnutrition among older persons living at home, thus providing concrete recommendations for an active and healthy life-style also in later years. To achieve this mission, a multi-disciplinary international consortium will pursue the following objectives, divided in two phases: the understanding of the context and, based on this, the development of solutions to prevent malnutrition.
Understanding relationships between food, physical activity, biological changes among older persons
Using large scale databases, the project will start by identifying the relationships between food intake, food characteristics, physical activity, the oral and gut microbiota, and poor appetite, malnutrition and poor health among older adults. It will especially focus on the prevention of protein-energy malnutrition. So far, most research in older adults has been focused on treatment of malnutrition by providing extra protein and energy, which led to weight gain but no convincing effects on health and functional outcomes. Moreover, the project will look at reasons to explain poor appetite among older persons, seen as the key towards the prevention of malnutrition, and will look at impact of changes in oral and gut microbiome to explain loss of taste and smell.
PROMISS will then research the food preferences and attitudes of older adults with regard to food intake, food characteristics, and physical activity. The identification of senior consumers’ preferences and attitudes is a requirement for the food industry to meet the growing senior consumer market with adequate products.
Developing dietary and physical activity strategies and new food concepts and products
Based on the outcomes of the research, PROMISS will develop optimized, sustainable and evidence-based dietary and physical activity strategies to prevent malnutrition and support active and healthy ageing. These recommendations will be optimally adapted to the specific characteristics of the EU Member States in order to increase the potential of reaching all older EU citizens and their healthcare providers.
With the help of SMEs and industry involved in the project, PROMISS will also design new food concepts, new food products and electronic support systems that fit within these newly developed dietary strategies. It will offer to food industry evidence-based knowledge to develop food products and concepts, and reformulate and/or re-market existing products to strengthen their global market position.
The international collaboration between strong scientific, industrial and dissemination partners ensures that the project findings will find their way to relevant stakeholders in all EU countries. Economic benefits include lower healthcare costs and a strong EU market position in innovative and sustainable food products for older adults.