Protein Continues To Be a Priority at the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) is the world’s largest gathering of credentialed nutrition professionals, Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), and is also known to draw nutrition science researchers, policy makers, health-care providers and industry leaders for a four day conference addressing the latest food and nutrition information, research and trends. This year ENC traveled to Houston, TX to share the latest on egg nutrition research at the educational exhibit hall and Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group educational breakfast session.

Tia Rains, PhD, Senior Director of Nutrition Research & Communications at ENC and Heather Leidy, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition & Exercise Physiology at the University of Missouri presented, Changing Paradigms on Weight Management and Macronutrient Intake . Visit to download the full presentation, including practical meal plans to put the research into practice. Insights of the presentation included:

  • “Fat Phobia” may have contributed to the doubling of obesity rates since the 1970s as intake of grains, fruit juices, sodas and snacks increased while consumption of red meat, dairy and eggs decreased.1
  • Many people think adults eat more protein than they need. However, recommendations for protein are based on the structural and functional properties of amino acids, determined by nitrogen balance studies. This means that the requirement is based on preventing loss of lean body mass in healthy individuals.  No other functional measures of protein status have been considered in establishing the RDA and no health benefits of protein have been considered either.2
  • Emerging benefits of increased dietary protein include: Improved lipid profile, blood glucose modulation, improved retention of muscle (elderly), increased satiety, improved body composition and weight management.3-9
  • A diet rich in protein is a viable strategy to prevent and/or treat obesity based on studies showing increased appetite control and satiety reduced reward-driven eating behavior .3-9
    • 25-30% of daily energy intake (24-30 grams per eating occasion) is optimal to elicit the above responses.

The Egg Nutrition Center educational exhibit also drew crowds as we shared the latest researcheducational materials and ENC offerings for health professionals such as, continuing education credits through webinars and materials.


How do you build your breakfasts to include 25-30 grams of protein?

If you would like more breakfast examples, join Egg Nutrition Center and Produce for Better Health Foundation for a webinar Building a Better Breakfast with High-Quality Protein and Produce presented by Neva Cochran on Wednesday, November 20th 2 pm ET. Register here.


1Flegal, K M, et al.  Prevalence of obesity and trends in the distribution of body mass index among U.S. adults, 1999-2010. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2012; 307(5), 491-497

2Layman, D. Dietary guidelines should reflect new understanding about adult protein needs. Nutrition & Metabolism 2009; 6(12),

3Leidy, HJ.  Beneficial effects of a higher-protein breakfast on the appetitive, hormonal and neural signals controlling energy intake regulation in overweight/obese “breakfast skipping” late-adolescent girls. Am J Clin Nutr . 2007; 97(4): 677-688

4Leidy, HJ, et al. Effects of acute and chronic protein intake on metabolism, appetite, and ghrelin during weight loss. Obesity. 2007; 15(5): 1215-25

5Leidy, HJ, et al.  The influence of higher protein intake and greater eating frequency on appetite  control in overweight and obese men. Obesity. 2010; 18(9): 1725-32

6Modified from: Fulgoni VL. Current protein intake in America: Analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2004 AJCN; 2008; 87(supp):1554S-78

7Wycherley TP, et al. Effects of energy-restricted high-protein, low-fat compared with standard-protein, low-fat diets: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. AJCN. 2012; 96(6): 1281-98

8Skov et al. Randomized trial on protein vs carbohydrate in ad libitum fat reduced diet for the treatment of obesity. Int J Obesity. 1999; 23(5): 528-536

9Symons et al.  Aging does not impair the anabolic response to a protein-rich meal.  AJCN. 2007; 86(2): 451-456.