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Protein, malnutrition and wasting diseases

Protein intake in hospitalized older people with and without increased risk of malnutrition

European Journal of Clinical Nutritionvolume 72pages917919 (2018) | Download Citation


A protein intake of ≥1.2 grams per kg body weight (g/kg) is recommended for ill older adults. In a cross-sectional study, we investigated if this recommendation was met by 62 hospitalized adults of 65 years and older in a Dutch hospital. We compared protein intake between two subgroups based on the risk of malnutrition and the prescribed diet: a low risk group (n = 31) receiving a standard hospital diet and a medium/high risk group (n = 31) receiving a protein-enriched diet. A 24h-recall was performed to calculate protein intake per patient. Protein intake was on average 1.2 g/kg in the medium/high risk group and 0.9 g/kg in the low-risk group. Seventeen patients reached a protein intake of ≥1.2 g/kg. Fifteen patients had a protein intake below 0.8 g/kg. It seems sensible to consider providing a protein-enriched diet to all older hospitalized adults, regardless of their risk of malnutrition.

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These authors contributed equally: Emmelyne Vasse, Janne Beelen.


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The authors thank the participants, Wendy de Meij for her assistance with MMS, Renske Geers for her assistance with Compl-eat, and Kim Bell-Anderson for the language editing.


This research was part of the Cater with Care® project and supported by a grant from the GO EFRO 2007-2013 program (Grant number 2011-016066-251111). This sponsor had no further role in the study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation of the data, writing the article, or in the decision to submit the article for publication.

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    1. Department of Dietetics, Hospital Gelderse Vallei, Ede, The Netherlands

      • Emmelyne Vasse
      •  & Nancy Janssen
    2. Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands

      • Janne Beelen
      • , Nicole M. de Roos
      •  & Lisette CPGM. de Groot


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    The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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    Correspondence to Emmelyne Vasse.

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