After an average 16-year follow-up, people who consumed a “Western-type” diet, including a high intake of red and processed meats, whole dairy products, and fried foods, were more likely to die prematurely and to suffer from various chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, cancer, and mental health disorders, compared with people who avoided such dietary patterns. Researchers analyzed data from 5,350 participants from the WhitehalI II study in London and scored dietary patterns using the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) to assess disease risk. People with better AHEI scores had better overall health outcomes as they aged.
- Akbaraly T, Sabia S, Hagger-Johnson G, et al. Does overall diet in midlife predict future aging in phenotypes? A cohort study. Am J Med. 2013; 126:411-419.