Heart health tops consumer concerns about aging

Heart health tops consumer concerns about aging

Soy protein is well positioned to address top aging-related issues.

Maintaining heart health and an active lifestyle are among the top ranked concerns of active, aging consumers in four European countries that were part of survey by Solae, part of the DuPont Nutrition & Health business. This survey was conducted in 13 countries, and among countries surveyed across Western Europe, it shows that heart health is the top concern among adults aged 35 to 65, followed by maintaining an active lifestyle.

While a variety of conditions can affect adults as they age, according to the World Health Organization, the three main causes of death are heart disease, cancer and stroke. Solae’s survey showed that 76 percent of adults in this age category in Europe were concerned about heart health and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, while 70 percent listed weight management as a top concern. Older people (50 to 65) were more likely to have high concern around heart health, while younger consumers (35 to 49) indicated strongest concerns around maintaining an active lifestyle.

“When you look at the listing of top ranking health concerns, it’s clear that soya protein can be a beneficial addition to the diet of someone in this age group,” said Jean Heggie, corporate marketing director at Solae. “Protein can help preserve lean muscle mass and manage weight by promoting satiety”. Jean Heggie will be presenting some of the results of this study during a seminar session at Health Ingredients Europe (Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 4 p.m. in the Seminar Theatre) and at the Healthy Ageing 2012 Conference that will take place in Frankfurt (Thursday, Nov. 15 at 11:15 a.m. in the Hotel Holiday Inn Airport – North).

In addition, many studies suggest protein consumption should increase as we age to counteract muscle loss and the natural decline in protein utilization with aging. Studies have suggested that 90 grams may be the ideal target for aging individuals, with that consumption spread out evenly throughout the day. This is different than the typical diet, where the majority of protein is consumed during an evening meal and very little is consumed in the morning.

While the health concerns of this age group can be affected by protein intake, only 64 percent of those surveyed say that they are getting the right amount of protein in their diet and 46 percent think they need to consume more protein as they age.

When it comes to the types of protein that they ingest, 79 percent prefer to get their protein by consuming foods or beverages that naturally contain it. Traditional food protein sources—meat, milk eggs, nuts and beans—dominate protein usage in this segment. While soy has the highest usage among plant proteins commonly used for protein fortification, only 43 percent of this group selects soy protein as a part of their diet.

“This age group can benefit from the unique benefits of soy protein,” said Heggie. “Soy protein is a high-quality plant protein that supports healthy maintenance of lean muscle mass while also providing heart health benefits that animal proteins do not offer.”

Soy protein can decrease total LDL cholesterol and may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease when consumed as a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats.


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