Protein-Enriched Bread and Readymade Meals Increase Community-Dwelling Older Adults' Protein Intake in a Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial

Ziylan, Canan; Haveman-Nies, Annemien; Kremer, Stefanie; Groot, Lisette C.P.G.M. de


Objectives: Sufficient protein intake can decrease undernutrition risk among community-dwelling older adults. This study aimed to increase community-dwelling older adults' daily protein intake with acceptable and applicable protein-enriched bread and readymade meals at home. Design: Double-blind randomized controlled trial of 2 weeks. Setting: Senior residential center in the Netherlands. Participants: Forty-two community-dwelling elderly residents (≥65 years) participated, with a mean age of 74.0 ± 6.9 years and mean body mass index of 28.5 ± 3.45 kg/m2 Intervention: The intervention group (n = 22) received 5 protein-enriched readymade meals and plentiful protein-enriched bread during 2 weeks, whereas the control group (n = 20) received the regular equivalents during these 2 weeks. Measurements: Food intake was assessed by using dietary food record-assisted 24-hour recalls and by weighing meal leftovers. Acceptability of the enriched products was assessed with product evaluation questionnaires and in-depth interviews. Results: Mean intake of food products (g) and energy (kJ) did not differ significantly between the control and the intervention groups. Total daily protein intake in the intervention group was 14.6 g higher than in the control group (87.7 vs 73.1 g/d, . P = .004). Expressed in g/kg body weight per day, protein intake was significantly higher in the intervention group than in the control group (1.25 vs 0.99 g/kg/d, . P = .003). The enriched products were equally liked, scoring 7.7 of 10.0. The in-depth interviews with participants indicated high acceptability of the enriched products. Conclusion: This study showed that community-dwelling older adults' protein intake can be increased to recommended levels with highly acceptable and applicable protein-enriched products that fit into the normal eating pattern. Future studies should investigate whether this effect is maintained in the long-term among a frailer population.