Correlates of Protein Intake among Community Dwelling Older Adults
Nutritional recommendations, BMI, and quality of life may be uniquely related in a population of older adults. The current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for dietary protein in older adults is 0.8 g/ kg of body weight per day, but controversy exists as to whether this amount is adequate. Research findings suggest that the protein turnover rate decreases by the age of 70, resulting in a greater need for protein by older adults. In addition, nutritional studies have suggested a lower mortality rate is associated with overweight BMI ranges in older adults. Last, a relationship between nutritional risk and quality of life has been found in community living elderly adults. To date no studies have been found investigating the relationship between protein intake and various physical and mental health correlates, such as quality of life among community dwelling older adults. Using data collected from a convenience sample of this population, who indicated protein intake of 0.8 -1.6 g/kg and BMIs of 25 and over, we investigated the relationship between protein intake, self-rated physical health, and life regard; analyses controlled for age, sex, and marital status. Results from a hierarchical regression analysis showed that a measure of life regard significantly and positively contributed to Protein Intake. This final model explained 49 percent of the variance.