Linda M. Hengeveld, Hanneke A.H. Wijnhoven, Margreet R. Olthof, Ingeborg A. Brouwer, Tamara B. Harris, Stephan B. Kritchevsky, Anne B. Newman, Marjolein Visser.

 Am J Clin Nutr. 2018 Feb 1;107(2):155-164. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqx020.


Protein-energy malnutrition is a major problem in older adults. Even in industrialized countries, a high percentage of the older population suffers from protein-energy malnutrition. It is also known that dietary intake may be altered or reduced while one gets older. In addition, previous studies have shown that the overall diet of a large number of community-dwelling older adults is of insufficient quality.

The analysis carried out in PROMISS involved community-dwelling older adults aged 70 years and over, who live in the areas of Memphis, Tennessee, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA).

We investigated whether poor diet quality would increase the risk of developing protein-energy malnutrition in the future. We found that the majority of these older adults had a diet that was of insufficient quality (~80%). Furthermore, 40% of the older adults had a low intake of protein.

Our study did not show that older adults whose diet is of poor quality had a higher risk of developing protein-energy malnutrition. However, we observed that the diet of the majority of the older adults can be improved, and that a higher protein intake may lower the risk of chronic protein-energy malnutrition in community-dwelling older adults.

The whole scientific paper can be found here: