Centre of Expertise Urban Vitality

Digitally supported dietary counseling increases protein intake in community dwelling older adults

subgroup-analysis of the VITAMIN RCT


Purpose: For prevention of sarcopenia and functional decline in community dwelling older adults, a higher daily protein intake is needed in addition to increased exercise. A new e-health strategy for dietary counseling was usedwith the aim to increase total daily protein intake to optimal levels (minimal 1.2 g/kg/day, optimal 1.5 g/kg/day) through use of regular food products.Methods: The VITAMIN (VITal AMsterdam older adults IN the city) RCT included 245 community dwelling older adults (age ≥ 55y): control, exercise, and exercise plus dietary counseling (protein) group. The dietary counselingintervention was based on behavior change and personalization was offered by a dietitian coach, by use of face-to-face contacts and videoconferencing during a 6-month intervention. Dietary intake was measured by a 3d dietaryrecord at baseline, after 6-month intervention and 12-month follow-up. The primary outcome was average daily protein intake (g/kg/day). Sub-group analysis and secondary outcomes included daily protein distribution, sources,product groups. A Linear Mixed Models (LMM) of repeated measures was performed with STATA v13.Results: Mean age of the 224 subjects was 72.0(6.5) years, a BMI of 26.0(4.2) and 71% were female. The LMM showed a significant effect of time and time*group (p<0.001). The dietary counseling group showed higher protein intakethan either control (1.41 vs 1.13 g/kg/day; β +0.32; p<0.001) or exercise group (1.41 vs 1.11 g/kg/day; β +0.33; p<0.001) after 6-month intervention and 12-month follow-up (1.24 vs 1.05; β +0.23; p<0.001 | 1.24 vs 1.07 β +0.19;p<0.001). Additional analysis revealed the higher protein intake was fully accounted for by animal protein intake.Conclusions: This study shows digitally supported dietary counseling improves protein intake sufficiently incommunity dwelling older adults with use of regular food products. Protein intake increase by personalizedcounseling with e-health is a promising strategy for dietitians with the upcoming rising ageing population.Keywords: Ageing, Behavior change, Nutrition, Physical Functioning, Sarcopenia

Reference van den Helder, J., Tieland, M., Mehra, S., Visser, B., Kröse, B., Engelbert, R., & Weijs, P. (2020). Digitally supported dietary counseling increases protein intake in community dwelling older adults: subgroup-analysis of the VITAMIN RCT. Abstract from ISBNPA - Xchange.
Published by  Urban Vitality 12 September 2020

Publication date

Sep 2020


Michael Tieland
Sumit Mehra
Ben Kröse

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