Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Cydne A. Perry


body composition, controlled diet, DASH, older adults


The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that muscular fitness is preserved in older adults who consumed pork daily as a part of the DASH dietary pattern. A controlled feeding pilot study was used to test this. Eight healthy older men and women were randomly assigned to consume either 3 ounces or 6 ounces of pork daily as a part of the DASH diet for a total of 12 weeks. Indicators of muscle mass, strength, and function were assessed at five time points (weeks 0, 3, 6, 9, 12) throughout the 12 weeks. A seven day cyclical menu was developed for the study containing fresh lean pork as the primary protein source at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These 3 meals along with 2 snacks were provided for participants throughout the study daily. Food items were purchased, prepared, and weighed out to the nearest gram by research staff in a food lab on the SDSU campus. Changes in body composition and muscular fitness were observed during the 12- wk feeding study regardless of pork intake. Significant time effects were detected for: weight (p=0.000), BMI (p=0.000), waist circumference (p=0.000), hip circumference (p=0.000), % body fat (p=0.000), fat mass (p=0.000), and balance score (p=0.002) such that decrease was observed over the intervention period. Baseline to study end pairwise comparisons show significant decreases for body weight (p=0.001), BMI (p=0.001), waist circumference (p=0.000), hip circumference (p=0.001), % body fat (p=0.005), fat mass (p=0.000), and right handgrip strength (p=0.000). Lean body mass (p > 0.05) and skeletal muscle mass (p > 0.05) were well preserved. The results of this small pilot study indicate that daily consumption of highquality protein as a part of a healthy dietary pattern positively influences body composition and muscular health in older adults. Results show that fat composition decreases while muscle composition and strength are preserved. These results also suggest that pork can be included in healthy dietary pattern such as that of the DASH diet.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Older people -- Nutrition.
Body composition.
Muscle strength.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright