Daily meat consumption and variation with aging in community-dwellers: results from longevity check-up 7 + project

F. Landi, R. Calvani, A.M. Martone, E. D’Angelo, E. Serafini, E. Ortolani, G. Savera, A. Picca, M. Tosato, S. Salini, E. Marzetti

Fondazione Policlinico Universitario “Agostino Gemelli” IRCSS, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy

Background & aims. Behavioral factors, including protein intake, influence the quantity and quality of skeletal muscle. The aim of this study was to provide a better insight into the comprehension of aging-related changes of daily meat consumption throughout an individual’s life span (from 18 to 98 years).

Methods. For the present study, the database Longevity Check-up 7 + (Look-up 7 +) is used. A brief questionnaire exploring lifestyle habits, dietary preferences and the consumption of selected foods was administered. A frequency questionnaire was administered to collect information on how often in a week participants consumed a standardized portion size of meat (beef, pork, chicken or turkey). 

Results. The mean age of the 8,144 participants was 55.4 ± 15.1 years (range: 18-98 years), with 4624 (56.8%) women. As compared with participants in the first tertile of daily meat intake, those in the third tertile were younger and showed slightly higher BMI. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as blood cholesterol level, was similar across different tertiles. Daily meat protein intake (as measured by the daily portion of meat) declined significantly during the young and adult age, both in men and women. Overall, among old subjects the meat-derived protein intake was less than 3.5 grams per day. 

Conclusions. The results of the Look-up 7 + survey suggest a significant decline in daily meat-derived protein intake with advancing age. Our findings also indicate that the higher meat consumption does not correlate with higher prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, such as blood pressure and cholesterol and glucose levels.

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