Survey Confirms Only 11% of Canadians 50+ Eat Enough Protein for Optimal Health

HAMILTON, ON, Feb. 24, 2016 /CNW/ - A recent survey of Canadians who are 50 years of age and older shows that only 11 per cent are eating protein as frequently as they should. Dr. Stuart Phillips, a Professor of Kinesiology at McMaster University who studies the link between protein consumption and exercise for maintaining muscle mass, recommends adults 50 and over eat protein with every meal.

"We lose muscle tissue as we age, and for most people it limits our ability and confidence in our mobility. But it doesn't have to be that way," explains Dr. Phillips who was recently appointed Director of McMaster's Physical Activity Centre of Excellence (PACE), which is devoted to studying and improving health among adults. "If you want to stay active as you age, incorporate protein, especially high-quality protein, into every meal and exercise daily," says Phillips.

A recent online survey of Canadians 50 years of age or older, found that while 89% of respondents know that protein is important to build muscle, only 11% say they consume some form with every meal within a typical week. Similarly, 96% know that regular exercise is important to maintain muscle mass as we age, but only 13% are exercising for more than 20 minutes every day in a typical week.

"The loss of muscle as we age is called scaropenia. While we can't stop it we can slow it down," says Phillips. High quality protein contains the essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein, which help build and repair muscles and prevent muscle loss.

In the newest installment of the Protein Builds video series, Phillips discusses how protein needs change as we age.

"Adults 50 and over should be consuming 25-30 grams of protein at every meal, which includes meat and alternatives," says Phillips. That's the equivalent of:

  • A ham sandwich (3 slices on whole wheat bread) with 1 cup 1% milk
  • 75 g baked chicken breast on quinoa (1/2 cup) with broccoli (1 cup)

High quality proteins also contain other nutrients like calcium and iron, along with many other essential vitamins and minerals. Meat, milk and dairy, eggs, nuts, beans and legumes are all good sources of high quality proteins.

To watch Dr. Phillips' video and the full Protein Builds video series, visit The Protein Builds video series informs Canadians about the important role of high-quality protein, including meat and alternative proteins, and the role that eating a well-balanced diet plays in maintaining good health. The series is made possible with funding from the Canadian Meat Council. 

Survey Methodology
The survey was conducted online within Canada by Nielsen on behalf of the Canadian Meat Council from February 2nd to February 8th, 2016, among 1,000 adults ages 50 and older using custom online panel research. This online survey is not based on a probability sample, and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Danielle Armengaud at

SOURCE McMaster Physical Activity Centre of Excellence

Video with caption: "Video: For adults approaching or over the age of 50, Dr. Stuart Phillips recommends protein consumption at every meal. In combination with regular exercise, this will prevent the loss of muscle tissue as we age and help adults continue an active and healthy lifestyle.". Video available at:

For further information: To arrange an interview to discuss with Dr. Phillips, please contact: Nic Canning / 413-992-7187 /

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