Abbott and AARP Help to Bring Awareness to Muscle Health

I had the opportunity to meet with Tiffany DeWitt a Registered Dietitian and in-house expert at Abbott the creators of Ensure. Tiffany provides clinical and scientific support for adult therapeutic nutrition products at Abbott. Her areas of experience include malnutrition, nutrition screening, assessment, and intervention, and oncology nutrition. 

Abbott and AARP teamed up to share with media and influencers the importance of being mindful of your bone health early through a private meet and greet including an Aerial Yoga class! Abbott says: While Americans are redefining what it means to age well and stay healthy, many adults 50 and over are still feeling the effects of aging. AARP and Abbott surveyed 1,480 Americans aged 50 years and older and found that while a majority see themselves in good health, one in two reported that they wished they had more strength or energy to participate in the activities they enjoy.

Continue reading to learn more about the survey that Abbott and AARP conducted and how you can start creating strong muscles regardless of your age. 

NMF: What encouraged Abbott and AARP to team up for this survey?

Tiffany Dewitt (TD): Abbott and AARP have a very similar mission to help people live healthier at all stages of life, including as we age. We partnered with AARP to encourage all adults 50 or over to understand the importance of muscle health, similar to how we view other health issues like bone health. Muscle health is important to maintaining your strength or energy, particularly as you get older so you can continue doing the activities you love.

NMF: What was the most shocking discovery from the survey?

TD: When we asked people 50 and over about their overall health, we found that while a majority see themselves in good health, 50 percent wished they had more strength or energy to participate in their daily activities. Muscles play a big role in our health – from giving us that daily strength and energy to managing a major health setback, which many of the survey respondents said they had experienced. That’s why it’s so important to look at how we combine nutrition with physical activity to maintain, and even rebuild, muscles.

NMF: It's never too late to create a healthy lifestyle, what are few nutritional tips for getting the right amount of protein in your diet? 

TD: Having a complete and balanced diet is important to staying your healthiest. A balanced diet includes eating the right amount of protein, which may be hard to know how much you need. In our survey, 62 percent of adults believed they get enough protein, but only 17 percent of people knew the actual amount. For an adult that weighs 150 pounds, roughly 53 grams of protein is recommended. However, research recommends that older adults consume nearly twice the daily recommended amount to help preserve their muscles.

To reach this amount, power up your plate and plan meals that incorporate protein-rich foods such as fish, lean meats and dairy. For example, choose a snack such almonds, which are filled with protein (20 almonds have 6 grams of protein) and plan lunches and dinners with lean proteins such as salmon (a 3 oz piece has 22 grams of protein).

NMF: Before the age of 40 when you start losing muscle mass are there foods or supplements one should be stocking up on? 

TD: While the body starts changing with age, science shows that with the help of exercise and nutrition, you can build muscle mass back up. In addition to protein, one other ingredient to keep on your muscle radar is HMB. This ingredient is  found in small amounts in some foods – like avocado and eggs – and has been used for many years by the fitness community. HMB works with protein to help protect and preserve muscles.

Training minds, and changing bodies!

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