Diet Quality and Health in Older Americans.

TitleDiet Quality and Health in Older Americans.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsZhao, H, Andreyeva, T
ISSN Number2072-6643
KeywordsActivities of Daily Living, Aged, diet, Eating, Healthy, Nutritional Status

Adequate nutrition is an essential component of healthy ageing. This study documents the quality of diets among older Americans and implications of healthy eating for their physical and mental health. Using a nationally representative longitudinal sample of adults aged ≥50 years, from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) 2010-2016 and food intake data from the 2013 Health Care and Nutrition Study (HCNS), the study evaluates the onset of health problems along the spectrum of diet quality measured by the Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2015. Older adults adhering to healthier diets, in the high HEI group, have a significantly lower risk of developing limitations in activities of daily living (15.2% vs. 19.6%, < 0.01) and depression (11.8% vs. 14.9%, < 0.01), as compared to participants with low HEI scores. Consuming healthier diets also predicts more favorable health outcomes, as measured by blood-based biomarkers, including C-reactive protein (3.3 vs. 3.8, < 0.05), cystatin C (1.1 vs. 1.2, < 0.1), total cholesterol (192.1 vs. 196.4, < 0.1), and high-density lipoprotein (57.2 vs. 53.8, < 0.01). Most older Americans can benefit from improving diet to reduce their risk of disability, chronic disease, and depression.

Citation Key12302
PubMed ID35334855
PubMed Central IDPMC8955752
Grant ListHatch multi-state project accession No.1020429 / / National Institute of Food and Agriculture /