Eggs' unique qualities benefit consumers of all ages

While rising global egg consumption is celebrated, eggs’ benefits for the individual should not be overlooked.

Eggs bring specific benefits for all age groups. (Dr. Vincent Guyonnet)
Eggs bring specific benefits for all age groups. (Dr. Vincent Guyonnet)

As one of the best quality and most affordable sources of animal proteins, eggs make a major contribution to feeding our growing world population from infancy through to retirement.

Since 2000, the global production of eggs has risen from 51.12 million metric tons (MT) to 83.48 million MT, an increase of 63.3%, far outpacing global population growth (+25.6%) over the period.  

Annual egg consumption at global level increased over 20 years by about 2.5 kg, or an additional 42 eggs per person, reaching the global average annual consumption of 180 eggs per person.  

 Growth has not been uniform across the globe, however. In Colombia, since 2000, egg production has increased by 123% while the country’s population grew by only by 29%, resulting in an additional 127 eggs per person per year. For the same 20-year-period, Ethiopia was able to provide just for one extra egg per person.

 While for many years eggs were not recommended for young infants due to the risks of allergy, in 2019, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended providing allergenic foods, such as eggs, as early as 4-6 months of age. Given the great nutritional of eggs and their ease of consumption for children, this new advice was surely welcome news for young parents.  

 Stages of life with higher nutritional need, such as pregnancy, lactation or fighting diseases, are also critical times when the provision of sufficient essential amino-acids (the protein building blocks that we must have in our diet) are essential.  

Eggs should be one of the foods of choice, especially if these eggs are also enriched in, for example, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E or other minerals. Body builders and fitness fanatics are also well aware of the benefits of eggs, with more and more evidence showing that consuming protein before and after a workout will stimulate muscle protein synthesis.

Protein synthesis becomes critical during the aging process when sarcopenia looms upon us, producing the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass, quality, and strength. 

Although sarcopenia is dependent on a number of factors, the bio-availability of sufficient proteins in our diet is one of the means to manage this age-related muscle loss. Since older adults do not utilize proteins as efficiently as younger individuals, the quality and quantity of proteins consumed become more important than ever to prevent muscle atrophy. Thanks to a number of innovations recently introduced by the egg processing sector, seniors have many more options to consume more egg white proteins, being it in a pasteurized drink, egg white wraps or other types of convenient finger foods.

Indeed, an egg works for all ages!

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