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Open AccessArticle

Towards a Food-Based Intervention to Increase Protein Intakes in Older Adults: Challenges to and Facilitators of Egg Consumption

Research Centre for Behaviour Change, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University, Poole BH12 5BB, UK
Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth BH1 3LT, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(10), 1409;
Received: 21 August 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 26 September 2018 / Published: 2 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Older Individuals' Nutrition)
Background: Dietary protein intake is important for health. Eggs, as a protein-rich food with characteristics that appeal to older adults, may provide opportunities for increasing protein intake. Interventions that focus on the challenges or facilitators that affect a large proportion of the population will be of increased impact on a population-wide scale. This work aimed to investigate the relative importance of a number of challenges to and facilitators of egg consumption in a UK population-wide sample of older adults. Methods: A cross-sectional postal questionnaire, measuring habitual egg intake, reasons for eating/not eating eggs and a range of demographic and lifestyle characteristics, was administered by post to 1082 older adults. Results: 230 questionnaires suitable for analysis were returned (110 females, ages 55–80+ years). Habitual egg intake ranged from 1–89 eggs/month, mean (standard deviation) = 18 (13) eggs/month. Reasons for eating/not eating eggs were reduced using Principal Components Analysis to 23 challenges and facilitators of egg consumption. Regression analyses revealed habitual egg intake to be associated with 10 challenges and facilitators (smallest β = 0.14, p = 0.04), and with protein consumption, age and Body Mass Index (smallest β = 0.14, p = 0.03). Discussion: Many possibilities for future intervention based on existing challenges or facilitators were found. Our results suggest that strategies to increase egg consumption in older adults should focus on: improving liking, tastiness and adding variety; promoting eggs as an everyday type of food; reducing stereotypes about who does and who does not consume eggs; and promoting eggs for people who have noticed the effects of ageing on their food intake. Strategies that highlight value-for-money may be counterproductive. Future work evaluating the value of these strategies for improving protein intake in this age group would be of value. View Full-Text
Keywords: egg consumption; dietary protein consumption; older adults; questionnaires egg consumption; dietary protein consumption; older adults; questionnaires
MDPI and ACS Style

Van den Heuvel, E.; Murphy, J.L.; Appleton, K.M. Towards a Food-Based Intervention to Increase Protein Intakes in Older Adults: Challenges to and Facilitators of Egg Consumption. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1409.

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