Dietary Protein Intake and Determinants in Māori and Non-Māori Octogenarians. Te Puāwaitanga o Ngā Tapuwae Kia Ora Tonu: Life and Living in Advanced Age: A Cohort Study in New Zealand

Nutrients. 2020 Jul 14;12(7):2079. doi: 10.3390/nu12072079.


Protein intake, food sources and distribution are important in preventing age-related loss of muscle mass and strength. The prevalence and determinants of low protein intake, food sources and mealtime distribution were examined in 214 Māori and 360 non-Māori of advanced age using two 24 h multiple pass recalls. The contribution of food groups to protein intake was assessed. Low protein intake was defined as ≤0.75 g/kg for women and ≤0.86 g/kg for men. A logistic regression model was built to explore predictors of low protein intake. A third of both women (30.9%) and men (33.3%) had a low protein intake. The main food group sources were beef/veal, fish/seafood, milk, bread though they differed by gender and ethnicity. For women and men respectively protein intake (g/meal) was lowest at breakfast (10.1 and 13.0), followed by lunch (14.5 and 17.8) and dinner (23.3 and 34.2). Being a woman (p = 0.003) and having depressive symptoms (p = 0.029) were associated with consuming less protein. In adjusted models the odds of adequate protein intake were higher in participants with their own teeth or partial dentures (p = 0.036). Findings highlight the prevalence of low protein intake, uneven mealtime protein distribution and importance of dentition for adequate protein intake among adults in advanced age.

Keywords: LiLACS NZ; food sources; older adults; protein distribution; protein intake.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dentition
  • Depression / etiology
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Elder Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
  • New Zealand
  • Nutrition Surveys*
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Sarcopenia / etiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Dietary Proteins