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Research Links Longer Survival Among Older Adults To Healthy Diet

December 22, 2010: 09:32 PM EST

A 10-year U.S. study of the six basic dietary patterns of 2,582 older (aged 70 to 79) adults who completed questionnaires has found that participants who tended to eat foods from the “high-fat dairy products” or “sweets and desserts” clusters were 40 percent and 37 percent more at risk of mortality respectively than those who consumed “healthy foods.” The healthy foods cluster comprised low-fat dairy products, fruit, whole grains, poultry, fish and vegetables. According to the researchers, “the healthy foods cluster also had significantly more years of healthy life and more favorable levels of nutritional biomarkers” than other food clusters. Besides “high-fat dairy” and “sweets and desserts,” other clusters identified by the researchers included "meat, fried foods, and alcohol," “breakfast cereal" and “refined grains.”

Amy L Anderson, Ph.D., et al., "Dietary patterns and survival of older adults", American Dietetic Association, December 22, 2010, © American Dietetic Association
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