Association between dietary habits and physical function in brazilian and italian older women

Hélio J. Coelho-Junior, Riccardo Calvani, Anna Picca, Ivan O. Gonçalves, Francesco Landi, Roberto Bernabei, Matteo Cesari, Marco C. Uchida, Emanuele Marzetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study investigated and compared the patterns of dietary protein intake and physical function in Brazilian and Italian older women. Seventy-five Brazilian older women were recruited in a community senior center. Fifty-three age-matched Italian older women were selected from participants of the Longevity check-up (Lookup) 7+ study. In both samples, physical performance was evaluated by isometric handgrip strength (IHG) and five-time sit-to-stand (5 × STS) tests, while diet was assessed through 24-h recall. Results indicated that Brazilian women had a higher intake of plant-based protein (52.7% vs. 30.5% kcal), while Italian women consumed greater amounts of animal-derived protein (29.7% vs. 41.5% kcal). In Brazilian women, the binary logistic regression analysis indicated that body weight-adjusted protein consumption was associated with IHG adjusted by body mass index and with 5 × STS performance. In the Italian sample, the intake of isoleucine, leucine, and valine was significantly associated with 5 × STS performance. Our findings indicate that Brazilian and Italian community-dwelling older women show different patterns of protein intake, with higher consumption of plant-based protein in the Brazilian sample and higher ingestion of animal-derived protein in the Italian subgroup. These dietary patterns may differentially impact the relationship between physical function and protein intake observed in Brazilian and Italian older women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1635
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Frailty
  • Nutrition
  • Physical performance
  • Protein intake
  • Sarcopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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