Posted on Jan 11, 2011, 6 a.m.
Certain dietary patterns correlate to reduced risk of death.
In that the leading causes of death have shifted from infectious diseases to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, some science suggests a primary role for diet in disease. Amy L. Anderson, from the University of Maryland (Maryland, USA), and colleagues studied the dietary patterns of 2,582 adults, ages 70 to 79 years. The team found that diets favoring certain foods were associated with reduced mortality. By determining the consumption frequency of 108 different food items, researchers were able to group the participants into six different clusters according to predominant food choices. Those eating “healthy foods" -- characterized by relatively higher
intake of low-fat dairy products, fruit, whole grains, poultry, fish, and vegetables, and lower consumption of meat, fried foods, sweets, high-calorie drinks, and added fat – were at 40% risk of mortality, as compared to those who ate a "high fat dairy products" diet – typically including ice cream, cheese, and 2% and whole milk and yogurt, and lower intake of poultry, low-fat dairy products, rice, and pasta. As well, those in the "sweets and desserts" cluster had a 37% higher risk of death, as compared to those in the “healthy foods” group. The researchers conclude that: “A dietary pattern consistent with current guidelines to consume relatively high amounts of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy products may be associated with superior nutritional status, quality of life and survival in older adults.”
Amy L. Anderson, Tamara B. Harris, Frances A. Tylavsky, Sara E. Perry, Denise K. Houston, Trisha F. Hue, Elsa S. Strotmeyer, Nadine R. Sahyoun. “Dietary Patterns and Survival of Older Adults.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 1 January 2011, volume 111 issue 1 Pages 84-91.