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Perceived Importance of Dietary Protein to Prevent Weight Gain: A National Survey among Midlife Women

  • Author Footnotes
    † Dr. Noel D. Aldrich was affiliated with the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota at the time this study was completed.
    Noel D. Aldrich
    Correspondence
    Address for correspondence: Noel D. Aldrich, PhD, Northwestern Health Sciences University, 2501 W 84th St, Bloomington, MN 55431; Phone: (952) 888-4777; Fax: (952) 886-7579
    Footnotes
    † Dr. Noel D. Aldrich was affiliated with the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota at the time this study was completed.
    Affiliations
    College of Graduate Health Sciences, Northwestern Health Sciences University, Bloomington, MN
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  • Courtney Perry
    Affiliations
    Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
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  • William Thomas
    Affiliations
    Department of Biostatistics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
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  • Author Footnotes
    ‡ Dr. Susan K. Raatz was affiliated with the University of Minnesota, General Clinical Research Center at the time this study was completed.
    Susan K. Raatz
    Footnotes
    ‡ Dr. Susan K. Raatz was affiliated with the University of Minnesota, General Clinical Research Center at the time this study was completed.
    Affiliations
    Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, Grand Forks, ND
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  • Marla Reicks
    Affiliations
    Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
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  • Author Footnotes
    † Dr. Noel D. Aldrich was affiliated with the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota at the time this study was completed.
    ‡ Dr. Susan K. Raatz was affiliated with the University of Minnesota, General Clinical Research Center at the time this study was completed.

      Abstract

      Objective

      Evaluate reported use of the practice of “eating more protein” to prevent weight gain among midlife women.

      Design

      Cross-sectional national survey.

      Participants

      One thousand eight hundred twenty-four midlife women (40-60 y) from the 9 United States geographic regions, primarily married (71%), white (76%), and well educated; half were premenopausal (49%).

      Outcomes

      Frequency of dietary practices to prevent weight gain, Weight Efficacy Lifestyle score, self-reported weight change and body mass index over the past 2 years, and current protein intake.

      Analysis

      Linear regression models determined associations between weight change, protein intake, and reported use of the practice of “eating more protein” to prevent weight gain.

      Results

      Most women correctly identified good protein sources, and the majority could indicate the daily percent dietary energy recommended from protein. “Eating more protein” to prevent weight gain was reported by 43% of women as a practice to prevent weight gain and was associated with weight loss over a 2-year period and with increased percent energy from protein.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Reported use of the practice of “eating more protein” was associated with weight loss over 2 years. Education regarding dietary protein requirements may enhance the use of this practice.

      Key Words

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