Eating better in adulthood improves physical health in older age

Elderly man and woman jogging_457x220

A new study by the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre’s Prof Sian Robinson suggests those who have healthier diets in adult life are fitter in older age. 

New research by Prof Robinson has shown that cutting out processed foods and eating more fruit and vegetables as an adult may help improve physical function in later life.

Lifestyle and healthier ageing

As we age, our bodies gradually lose muscle and become weaker, but our lifestyle can influence how quickly this natural aging process occurs.

This study looked at the role of having a healthy diet in adult life on physical function in older age.

Better performance

The study examined the diet records of a group of 969 British men and women who were born in 1946.

Using information collected at different points from ages 36 to 64, the study looked at links between diet quality  and performance in three different tests of physical function, including chair rise, timed up-and-go speeds and a standing balance test, assessed when the participants were in their sixties.

Higher diet quality at each age was consistently linked to better physical performance in later life, with a better diet across adulthood associated with beneficial effects on performance in the physical tests.

Posted on Wednesday 22 November 2017