Main content area

Protein Intake Falls below 0.6 g·kg-1·d-1 in Healthy, Older Patients Admitted for Elective Hip or Knee Arthroplasty

Weijzen, M. E. G., Kouw, I. W. K., Verschuren, A. A. J., Muyters, R., Geurts, J. A., Emans, P. J., Geerlings, P., Verdijk, L. B., van Loon, L. J. C.
The journal of nutrition, health & aging 2019 v.23 no.3 pp. 299-305
breakfast, carbohydrates, dietary energy sources, dinner, females, food intake, hips, hospital diet, hospitals, lunch, males, observational studies, orthopedics, patients, protein intake, snacks, surgery
OBJECTIVE: Hospitalization is generally accompanied by changes in food intake. Patients typically receive hospital meals upon personal preference within the framework of the food administration services of the hospital. In the present study, we assessed food provision and actual food and snack consumption in older patients admitted for elective hip or knee arthroplasty. DESIGN: A prospective observational study. SETTING: Orthopedic nursing ward of the Maastricht University Medical Centre+. PARTICIPANTS: In the present study, n=101 patients (age: 67±10 y; hospital stay: 6.1±1.8 d) were monitored during hospitalization following elective hip or knee arthroplasty. MEASUREMENTS: Energy and protein provided by self-selected hospital meals and snacks, and actual energy and protein (amount, distribution, and source) consumed by patients was weighed and recorded throughout 1–6 days. RESULTS: Self-selected meals provided 6.5±1.5 MJ·d⁻¹, with 16, 48, and 34 En% provided as protein, carbohydrate, and fat, respectively. Self-selected hospital meals provided 0.75±0.16 and 0.79±0.21 g·kg⁻¹·d⁻¹ protein in males and females, respectively. Actual protein consumption averaged merely 0.59±0.18 and 0.50±0.21 g·kg⁻¹·d⁻¹, respectively. Protein consumption at breakfast, lunch, and dinner averaged 16±8, 18±9, and 20±6 g per meal, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Though self-selected hospital meals provide patients with ∼0.8 g·kg⁻¹·d⁻¹ protein during short-term hospitalization, actual protein consumption falls well below 0.6 g·kg⁻¹·d⁻¹ with a large proportion (∼32%) of the provided food being discarded. Alternative strategies are required to ensure maintenance of habitual protein intake in older patients admitted for elective orthopedic surgery.