Older people who eat healthy diets may live longer, a study suggests

A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association has found that older people who eat a healthy diet containing lots of fruit and vegetables reduced their mortality rate over 10 years.

The study involved comparing the diets of 2,500 70 to 79 year olds in the United States.

The participants in the study were spilt into six different groups, which were decided upon according to how often they ate certain foods.

The groups were as follows: healthy foods, high-fat dairy products, meat, fried foods and alcohol, breakfast cereal, refined grains and sweets and desserts.

Unsurprisingly the researchers found that those who ate healthy foods, such as fruit, whole grains, poultry, fish and vegetables liver longer than those in the other groups, with 12 extra people in every hundred surviving over the 10 year study period.

In contrast, those who ate high fat diets rich in ice cream, cheese and whole milk, had the highest risk of death.

The groups

  • The high fat dairy products cluster contained 332 people. 109 of them died over the 10 year period – 34%.
  • The “sweets and desserts” cluster contained 339 people. 104 of them died over the 10 year period – 32%.
  • The healthy foods cluster contained 374 people. 77 of them died over the 10 year period – 21%.
  • Dr Amy Anderson, lead researcher from the University of Maryland said: “older adults who …consume relatively high amounts of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry and fish, may have a lower risk of mortality”.

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    Emma Hilton

    Written by Emma Hilton

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