-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- A new British study
provides further evidence that eating a so-called "Western" diet
may not be good for you in the long run.
People who eat this kind of diet -- which includes fried and
sweet foods, processed and red meat, refined grains and high-fat
dairy products -- are at increased risk for premature death. And
those who do make it to old age are less likely to be in good
health when they get there, the researchers said.
The study included nearly 3,800 men and 1,600 women in Britain,
with an average age of 51, who were followed from 1985 to 2009. By
the end of that time, 73 percent of the participants had
experienced normal aging and 4 percent had undergone ideal aging,
which is defined as free of chronic conditions with high scores on
tests of physical and mental abilities.
During the follow-up period, 13 percent of the participants had
a nonfatal cardiovascular event, 3 percent died from heart-related
causes and 7 percent died from other causes, according to the
research, which was published in the May issue of
The American Journal of Medicine.
Those who ate a Western diet were less likely to have ideal
aging, lead investigator Tasnime Akbaraly of INSERM, a biomedical
and public health research institution in Montpelier, France, said
in a journal news release.
"We showed that following specific dietary recommendations ... may be useful in reducing the risk of unhealthy aging, while avoidance of the Western-type foods might actually improve the possibility of achieving older ages free of chronic diseases and remaining highly functional," Akbaraly said in a journal news release.
"A better understanding of the distinction between specific health behaviors that offer protection against diseases and those that move individuals toward ideal aging may facilitate improvements in public health prevention packages," Akbaraly added.
The American Academy of Family Physicians offers tips for
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