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Healthy Diet in Middle Age Linked to Healthy Aging in Women — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
November 5, 2013

Healthy Diet in Middle Age Linked to Healthy Aging in Women

By Kelly Young

Women who eat healthy diets in midlife are more likely to live past age 70 and have fewer physical and cognitive maladies as they age, according to an analysis of the Nurses' Health Study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers calculated how closely some 11,000 middle-aged women (median age, 59) followed a healthy diet (high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and nuts; low in red and processed meat and sweetened beverages; moderate alcohol intake). In addition, they estimated adherence to the Mediterranean diet, which also included fish intake.

After roughly 15 years, women in the top quintile of healthy diet scores had a 34% greater likelihood of being healthy agers (i.e., survival to age 70, free of 11 chronic diseases, no major cognitive or physical impairment) — and those in the the top quintile of Mediterranean diet scores had a 46% greater likelihood — compared with those in the bottom quintiles.

Reader Comments (1)

Robert Rappel, DO, JD Other, Other, Rappel Health Law Group, PL

I am a physician/health law attorney and this article is excellent. I have health law clients with major issues that certainly could be avoided if their primary care physicians would encourage there overweight patients to adhere to good nutritional diets. We have become an obese society and definitely need to encourage change.

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