Undernutrition risk among community-dwelling older adults is partly caused by inadequate protein intake. Enriching readymade meals with protein could be beneficial in increasing protein intake. Moreover, reduced-size meals could suit older adults with diminished appetite. In this single-blind randomized crossover study with 120 participants (age: 70.5 ± 4.5 y, BMI: 27.2 ± 4.4 kg/m2), 60 participants consumed four beef meals and another 60 consumed four chicken meals on four different days, once per week. These meals were produced according to a 2 × 2 factorial design: the protein content was either ∼25 g (lower) or ∼30 g (enriched), and the portion size was either 450 g (normal) or of 400 g (reduced). Palatability evaluation, meal intake, and subsequent satiety ratings after 120 min were measured. No significant differences in palatability among meals were found. While absolute intake (g) of the normal-size meals was significantly higher than that of the reduced-size meals, the relative intake (%) of the served meals did not differ between the four meals. Both protein and energy intakes were significantly higher for the enriched meals, regardless of portion size. Protein intakes were 5.4 g and 5.1 g higher in the normal-size and reduced-size enriched beef meals, respectively, and 6.1 g and 7.1 g higher in the enriched chicken meals, respectively. The normal-size enriched beef meal and reduced-size enriched chicken meal led to slightly but significantly higher ratings of satiety than the non-enriched meals. Due to these mixed satiety findings, separate effects of meal-size reduction and protein enrichment could not be distinguished in this study. The intake findings show that palatable protein-enriched meals support higher protein and energy intakes in vital community-dwelling older adults during a single meal.
Ziylan, C., Kremer, S., Eerens, J., Haveman-Nies, A., & de Groot, C. P. G. M. (2016). Effect of meal size reduction and protein enrichment on intake and satiety in vital community-dwelling older adults. Appetite, 105, 242-248. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2016.05.032