PROMISS Project: Healthy Ageing for Seniors

Providing recommendations and tools to support an active and healthy life-style in later years with a focus on increasing protein intake.

19 Aug 2021

3 min

#Medical Nutrition #News #Europe #Protein #Nutrition

The PRevention Of Malnutrition In Senior Subjects in the EU (PROMISS) exists to research the prevalance and prevention of malnutrition in seniors who are living at home. The goal of the consortium is to provide concrete recommendations for those looking to live an active and healthy lifestyle in their later years.

On 25 June the final presentation of the EU funded Horizon 2021 PROMISS project was held. With 20% of seniors living at home being malnourished, the project objective was to improve understanding and ultimately prevention of protein energy malnutrition in seniors. In turn, supporting the ageing European population to keep healthy and active for longer.

Throughout the project results have been presented at conferences such as ESPEN. Additionally, several tools have been developed, like the protein screener to assess daily protein intake, a recently launched recipe book for various types of diets and key scientific strategies.

As a consortium partner of PROMISS the following is a summary of key insights from this project.

The recommended protein intake per day for seniors has increased

The findings of the PROMISS project recommend that seniors should target an intake of 1.0g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight (bw) per day.

This is in line with other more recent recommendations that also tend to go target higher intake levels than the previously used value of about 0.8g/kg bw/day.

Importantly, this recognises protein as not just a relevant energy source but specifically to support muscle mass and function which is associated with higher levels of independent living.

Dairy rated as the most acceptable protein source by seniors

When considering readiness of consumers to switch to alternative protein sources, studies consist largely of younger adults.

PROMISS reviewed data from a study of 1825 people from five European countries and found that those aged 65 years and over consider dairy as the most acceptable protein source.

One reason for this may be that it will require more time and effort before this older sociodemographic group will habitually start to include alternative sources like insect, or single cell derived proteins, into their diet.

Whey protein powder proves effective in increasing protein intake

One of the studies investigated the impact of personalised dietary advice and provision of protein fortified products (including Fonterra whey protein powder) on an individuals protein intake.  

After measuring protein intake per day for four weeks, both intervention groups increased their protein consumption significantly compared to the control group.

Study participants indicated that they enjoyed the whey protein powder as an easy addition to foods, improving the nutritional value without requiring large habitual changes. A good solution to consider for seniors that are seeking to increase their protein intake.

These are just a few of the findings described in the dozens of articles coming from this project and therefore does not even reflect the full reach of the work done by the PROMISS team.

There were 10 work packages which go too far to discuss here, but do head over to the PROMISS website to find detailed information and a full list and references of all scientific articles to learn about the insights and tools that this project has brought.

You can also read Jacqueline's interview with NutritionInsight for more insights on the recent PROMISS project findings. 

The author

Jacqueline Van Schaik

Global Lead Nutritionist - Medical & Healthy Ageing Team

Jacqueline has a MSc in Human Nutrition, Marketing and Consumer Science. She is the Nutritionist for the Medical and Healthy Ageing Functional Nutrition Unit.

  • PROMISS press release 2021

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