More than half of older people in South Yorkshire don’t eat enough protein to stay healthy, according to a new study published in The Institute for Healthy Life at the University of Sheffield in the UK. In the study, researchers surveyed 256 elderly people aged 65 to 89 in South Yorkshire and assessed two existing data sets that contained detailed details of the dietary intake of older people in the area.
It found that less than 50 per cent of the participants’ protein intake was in line with current UK recommendations of 0.75 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day (about 53 grams for men and 46 grams in women).
But many experts believe that older people should need more protein than currently recommended in the UK. International organizations recommend 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, and less than 15 percent of older adults in the study met the recommended age group.
Studies have also shown that older adults need to consume 25-30 grams of protein for three meals a day to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Only one participant in the study did just that, and the other participants had lower levels of protein in their food, especially for breakfast.
The researchers say inadequate protein intake can lead to muscle breakdown, affecting bodily functions and increasing the risk of weakness and death after a fall. The risk is greater for obese older people, who may be reluctant to exercise or exercise freely. Weakness and related musculoskeletal problems are known to cost the UK around s7bn a year due to weakness and related musculoskeletal problems.
Meat, fish and dairy products accounted for 86 percent of the participants’ protein intake, the study found. As an indicator, 32 grams of protein can be obtained from chicken breast and 6 grams from eggs.
Older people can also easily increase their protein intake by eating high-protein cereals, eggs, toast, etc. for breakfast, and should also consider adding plant-based protein sources, such as legumes, to their diet.
The researchers say our goal is to help everyone live healthier, longer and more independent lives. Protein intake can improve our ability to fight infections and treat aging diseases such as cancer, so we hope to further this study to see if protein intake can help improve the effectiveness of cancer treatment.