Factors associated with protein consumption in elderly

ABSTRACT Objective We evaluated factors associated with protein consumption by the elderly. Methods We performed a cross-sectional study in a sample of 295 elderly consumers of health facilities in São Caetano do Sul, São Paulo, Brazil. Protein consumption data (g and g/kg) were obtained through 24-hour dietary recalls, which was reapplied in a 30% sub-sample to estimate habitual consumption, with an interval of two weeks. The association between protein consumption and sociodemographic, economic, health, and dietary variables was tested using multiple linear regression. Results There was a positive association between protein consumption (g and g/kg) and better Brazilian Healthy Eating Index-Revised, between protein consumption (g) and male sex, and a negative association between protein consumption (g/kg) and greater calf circumference. Higher average protein consumption (g or g/kg) was observed among married elderly, individuals with higher income and schooling, who were economically active, eutrophic, without dyslipidemia and symptoms of dysphagia, who consumed three main meals and an intermediate snack. Conclusion The results showed that protein consumption was associated with diet quality, sex, and calf circumference. The identification of elderly groups prone to protein inadequacy may direct individual and collective interventions to prevent muscle mass reduction and its implications, such as sarcopenia and other adverse outcomes.