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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Dietary Guidelines Adherence and Healthy Body Weight Maintenance Title: Perceived importance of dietary protein to prevent weight gain: A national survey among midlife women

Authors
item Aldrich, Noel -
item Perry, Courtney -
item Thomas, William -
item Raatz, Susan
item Reicks, Marla -

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 21, 2012
Publication Date: May 1, 2013
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/56728
Citation: Aldrich, N.D., Perry, C., Thomas, W., Raatz, S.K., Reicks, M.R. 2013. Perceived importance of dietary protein to prevent weight gain: A national survey among midlife women. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 45(3):213-221.

Interpretive Summary: A cross-sectional national survey was performed to evaluate knowledge and use of dietary protein to prevent weight gain among midlife women. 1,824 midlife women (40 – 60 yrs old) from nine US geographic regions were surveyed to assess practices utilized to prevent weight gain, protein knowledge score, current self-reported BMI and weight change over the past two years, current protein intake and responses to the Weight Efficacy Lifestyle Questionnaire. We found that most women could correctly identify good protein sources, while less than half were able to identify the recommended protein intake level. 43% of women reported increasing protein intake to lose weight and this practice was associated with weight loss over a two year period, percent energy from protein, and protein knowledge score.

Technical Abstract: Objective: Evaluate knowledge of dietary protein and reported increasing protein intake to prevent weight gain among midlife women. Design: A cross-sectional national survey. Participants: 1,824 midlife women (40 – 60 yrs old) from the nine US geographic regions. Women were mostly married (71%), White (76%) and well educated, about half were premenopausal (49%). Variables measured: Frequency of dietary practices to prevent weight gain, Weight Efficacy Lifestyle Questionnaire score, protein knowledge score, current self-reported BMI and weight change over the past two years, current protein intake. Analysis: Separate linear regression models determined associations between weight change, protein knowledge scores, protein intake and increasing protein intake to prevent weight gain. Results: Most women could correctly identify good protein sources, while less than half were able to indicate the daily percent dietary energy recommended from protein. Increasing protein intake to prevent weight gain was reported by 43% of women and was associated with weight loss over a two year period, percent energy from protein, and protein knowledge score. Conclusions and Implications: Increasing protein intake to prevent weight gain was a somewhat common strategy associated with slight weight loss over two years. Education regarding dietary protein requirements may enhance the use of this strategy. Keywords: protein, midlife women, weight control

Last Modified: 12/29/2014
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