While protein consumption in the United States generally meets the minimum requirements, emerging research indicates a higher-protein diet — while staying within the range of 10% to 35% of total calories (the amount for weight management) — may have benefits for certain populations. Not only is protein beneficial for sports performance and weight management, but baby boomers in particular may need to emphasize protein in their diets since protein consumption tends to decline with age as does muscle, a body tissue that thrives on protein.
Milk and cheese together provide an average of 15% of protein in the diet of adults (19+ years), while yogurt accounts for less than 1%, according to the latest NHANES data. The majority of consumers believe it is important to add more protein to their diets, and specific meal occasions may provide the best opportunity for protein innovation. The lowest amount of protein is consumed at breakfast (16%) and snacks (14%), according to the NPD Group.