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Western Style Diet Makes You Die Young: Study

First Posted: Apr 16, 2013 07:12 AM EDT

Adhering to a western style diet lowers a person's chances of achieving older age in good health and with higher functionality, according to a news release.

The latest study, published in The American Journal of Medicine, states that a western style diet, which includes fried and sweet food, processed and red meat, high fat dairy products and refined grains leads to a greater risk of premature death.

"The impact of diet on specific age-related diseases has been studied extensively, but few investigations have adopted a more holistic approach to determine the association of diet with overall health at older ages," says lead investigator Tasnime Akbaraly, PhD, Inserm, Montpellier, France. "We examined whether diet, assessed in midlife, using dietary patterns and adherence to the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), is associated with aging phenotypes, identified after a mean 16-year follow-up."

For the study, researchers examined the findings from the British Whitehall II cohort study. The study states that AHEI increases the odds of reversing metabolic syndrome. This syndrome can trigger heart diseases, and in worst cases, even compromise a person's mortality.  Hence the researchers looked for dietary factors that lower the risk of premature death and also improve ideal aging.

They worked on data that included 3,775 men and 1,575 women having a mean age of 51 years. The study was conducted from 1985-2009. Screenings were conducted every five years and with this the researchers identified the mortality and chronic disease among participants.

Based on the data, it was seen that nearly 7.3 percent of the participants had non-cardiovascular death, 2.8 percent had cardiovascular death, 12.7 percent was nonfatal cardiovascular event, 73.2 percent was normal aging, and ideal aging was 4 percent.

Those with low adherence to AHEI had an increased risk of cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular death. Consuming a western style diet lowered the chances of ideal aging. 

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