Protein-enriched familiar foods and drinks improve protein intake of hospitalized older patients: A randomized controlled trial

Publication date: August 2018
Source:Clinical Nutrition, Volume 37, Issue 4
Author(s): Janne Beelen, Emmelyne Vasse, Nancy Janssen, André Janse, Nicole M. de Roos, Lisette C.P.G.M. de Groot
Background & aimsAdequate protein intake is important in preventing and treating undernutrition. Hospitalized older patients are recommended to consume 1.2–1.5 g of protein per kg body weight per day (g/kg/d) but most of them fail to do so. Therefore, we investigated whether a range of newly developed protein-enriched familiar foods and drinks were effective in increasing protein intake of hospitalized older patients.MethodsThis randomized controlled trial involved 147 patients of ≥65 years (mean age: 78.5 ± 7.4 years). The control group (n = 80) received the standard energy and protein rich hospital menu. The intervention group (n = 67) received the same menu with various protein-enriched intervention products replacing regular products or added to the menu. Macronutrient intake on the fourth day of hospitalization, based on food ordering data, was compared between the two groups by using Independent T-tests and Mann Whitney U-tests.ResultsIn the intervention group 30% of total protein was provided by the intervention products. The intervention group consumed 105.7 ± 34.2 g protein compared to 88.2 ± 24.4 g in the control group (p < 0.01); corresponding with 1.5 vs 1.2 g/kg/d (p < 0.01). More patients in the intervention group than in the control group reached a protein intake of 1.2 g/kg/d (79.1% vs 47.5%). Protein intake was significantly higher in the intervention group at breakfast, during the morning between breakfast and lunch, and at dinner.ConclusionsThis study shows that providing protein-enriched familiar foods and drinks, as replacement of regular products or as additions to the hospital menu, better enables hospitalized older patients to reach protein intake recommendations.This trial is registered on, Identifier: NCT02213393.