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Eat well, live longer, study shows

Eat well, live longer, study showsA new study has found that if you eat healthier, you may live longer, even if you have other lifestyle risk factors.

The study looked at men and women between 50 and 71 years of age who did not have any diseases or medical conditions at the beginning of the trial. They used a questionnaire to determine their intake of vegetables, fruit, low-fat dairy, whole grains, lean meat and poultry, and other fat intake. Their diets were then evaluated using the dietary behaviour score (DBS).

After 10.5 years of follow-up, the researchers looked at the rates of mortality from cancer, heart disease and all causes.  Compared to the lowest score, those with the highest score had a 23% to 30% lower risk of dying from heart disease or all other causes and 20% lower risk of dying from cancer. When accounting for all other lifestyle risk factors, nearly 12% of the participants’ risk of death from any cause could be directly linked to their poor dietary habits.

The researchers say this provides further evidence that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of death over a 10 year period in both men and women, even if they have other lifestyle risk factors (which may include smoking, obesity, overweight, sedentary lifestyle).

Read about a healthy diet.

For simple steps to making healthy choices, read our brochure Eat well. Live longer.  

Posted: July 6, 2009

Source: Kant AK, Leitzmann MF, Park Y, et al. Patterns of Recommended Dietary Behaviors Predict Subsequent Risk of Mortality in a Large Cohort of Men and Women in the United States. Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 139, No. 7, 1374-1380, July 2009

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is provided for reference and education only. This Web article is not intended to be a substitute for a physician’s advice, diagnosis or treatment. The contents do not necessarily represent the Foundation’s opinion or policies and the Heart and Stroke Foundation assumes no responsibility or liability for any inaccuracy or omission of information or from the use of any information or advice in this article.