Researchers conducting a large scale study funded by the European Commission are looking for older members of the public to help them to understand how our hunger levels change as we age.

The University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health is currently recruiting for volunteers for the study, Full4Health. Scientists hope to recruit 64 volunteers from the North-east aged between 65 and 75. The study is for both men and women but the team are specifically looking for participants who are lean, with a Body Mass Index of less than 25.

The study will see volunteers complete two visits to the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health where they drink two different protein shakes. During these times they will be assessed on their motivation to eat and their appetite, this will involve them being asked questions on how hungry they feel, their desire to eat and prospective consumption. This will take place every 30 minutes following the consumption of each drink, for three hours. They will then be asked to complete a 24 hour food diary.

Although volunteers are being asked to attend the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, it is possible for researchers to visit them if more convenient.

Dr Alexandra Johnstone, senior research fellow at the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, said: “This study is an exciting project to be involved in as often research is focussed on the younger demographic. We are specifically looking at an ageing population, which is often poorly researched, but I consider this to be an important area to research the influences on appetite and food intake.

“The issue of loss of muscle mass in the ageing population is a significant area of research for the EU. Appetite and food intake decreases with advancing age, therefore the risk of becoming malnourished is enhanced. The aim of the study is to measure subjective appetite responses (i.e. how hungry/full people feel) following a high protein breakfast drink during two visits. What we then hope this will demonstrate is how to encourage lean, ageing consumers to enjoy a more nutritious diet which will help them to maintain good health.

Anyone who is interested in taking part in the study, or who would like further information, should contact either Dr Johnstone on 01224 438614 or email, or the Research Team at or 01224 438691.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement 266408 [Full4Health]

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