Knowledge and consumption of protein in older adults: Opportunity for improvement

International Journal of Development Research

Article ID: 
6 pages
Research Article

Knowledge and consumption of protein in older adults: Opportunity for improvement

Dominic Picetti, Stephen Foster, Amanda Pangle, Amy Schrader, Jeanne Y. Wei and Gohar Azhar


The objective of this study was to evaluate the knowledge regarding the importance of protein in diet and protein consumption patterns of elderly individuals living in the Southern United States. An anonymous convenience sample questionnaire was administered to out-patients over the age of 60 at an academic geriatric clinic setting. 79% of the respondents were Caucasians, approximately equally distributed between males and females. 19% of subjects were unsure whether they consumed enough protein. Only 5% were able to identify the current recommended daily allowance for protein. 25% of the respondents did not know that protein was important for maintenance of muscles. They were also unclear about the categories of animal or vegetable protein. We found that the knowledge level of elderly individuals regarding protein was suboptimal. However, many appeared to be interested in keeping their strength and were willing to consider taking protein supplements to maintain their muscle mass and physical function. Providers should incorporate questions regarding protein intake in the patient medical history to be able to guide patients about appropriate protein consumption. Providers also need to assess patients for sarcopenia and functional decline, and educate the patient about the importance of protein intake in maintaining health.

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