Centre of Expertise Urban Vitality

Digitally supported dietary counselling increases protein intake in community-dwelling older adults

subgroup analysis of the vitamin RCT


Background/purpose: For prevention of sarcopenia and functional<br/>decline in community-dwelling older adults, a higher daily protein<br/>intake is needed. A new e-health strategy for dietary counselling was<br/>used with the aim to increase total daily protein intake to optimal<br/>levels (minimal 1.2 g/kg/day, optimal 1.5 g/kg/day) through use of<br/>regular food products.<br/>Methods: The VITAMIN (VITal Amsterdam older adults IN the city)<br/>RCT included 245 community-dwelling older adults (age ≥ 55y):<br/>control, exercise, and exercise plus dietary counselling (protein)<br/>group. The dietary counselling intervention was based on behaviour<br/>change and personalization. Dietary intake was measured by a 3d<br/>dietary record at baseline, after 6-month intervention and 12-month<br/>follow-up. The primary outcome was average daily protein intake<br/>(g/kg/day). Sub-group analysis and secondary outcomes included<br/>daily protein distribution, sources, product groups. A Linear Mixed<br/>Models (LMM) of repeated measures was performed with STATA<br/>v13.<br/>Results: Mean age of the 224 subjects was 72.0(6.5) years, a BMI of<br/>26.0(4.2). The LMM showed a significant effect of time and time*group<br/>(p<0.001). The dietary counselling group showed higher protein intake<br/>than either control (1.41 vs 1.13 g/kg/day; β +0.32; p<0.001) or exercise<br/>group (1.41 vs 1.11 g/kg/day; β +0.33; p<0.001) after 6-month intervention<br/>and 12-month follow-up.<br/>Conclusions and implications: This study shows digitally supported<br/>dietary counselling improves protein intake sufficiently in communitydwelling<br/>older adults with use of regular food products. Protein intake<br/>increase by personalised counselling with e-health is a promising strategy<br/>for dieticians.

Reference van den Helder, J., Mehra, S., Tieland, M., Visser, B., Kröse, B., Engelbert, R., & Weijs, P. (2021). Digitally supported dietary counselling increases protein intake in community-dwelling older adults: subgroup analysis of the vitamin RCT. S209. Abstract from 16th International
Congress of Behavioural Medicine (ICBM), Glasgow, United Kingdom. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12529-021-09997-7
Published by  Urban Vitality 1 January 2021

Publication date

Jan 2021


S. Mehra
M. Tieland
B. Kröse


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