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The Consumption of Protein-Rich Foods in Older Adults: An Exploratory Focus Group Study

      Abstract

      Objective

      Many older adults consume inadequate protein for their needs. This study explored the factors associated with the consumption of high-protein foods in older adults.

      Methods

      Participants over the age of 65 years (n = 28) took part in 1 of 4 focus group discussions on meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, and pulses. Discussions were audio taped, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic analysis.

      Results

      Numerous and various reasons for the consumption and non-consumption of high-protein foods were reported. Many of these reasons result from reductions in chemosensory, dental and physical abilities, and changes in living situation in the older population, and have impact specifically on high-protein foods because of their often hard, perishable and need-to-be-cooked nature, and high cost.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Further work is required to establish the importance of each of these reasons in relation to protein intakes, to prioritize those of likely greatest impact for increasing intakes.

      Key Words

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