diet matter for survival in long-lived
Published in APJCN, vol 14, issue 1
2005. Authors: Wahlqvist M, Darmadi-Blackberry
I, Kouris-Blazos A, Jolley D, Steen B,
Lukito W, Horie Y.
study set out to determine if diet is
important for longevity in 5 long-lived
The study was called "Food Habits
in Later Life" and was coordinated
by HECs Professor Mark Wahlqvist and Dr
Antigone Kouris-Blazos at Monash University
(the descriptive data is availabe on CD
Between 1988 and 1991 data were collected
on diet, health and lifetsyle on about
800 people aged 70 and over from countries/cultures
experiencing longevity: Swedes, Greeks,
Australians (Greeks and Anglo-Celts) and
Japanese. They were followed up for 5-7
years to determine survival.
Much to the
surprise of the investigators, the elderly
Greeks in Australia had the lowest risk
of death (even though they had the highest
rates of obesity and other CVD risk factors),
followed by the slimmer and more athletic
elderly Swedes, Japanese, Anglo-Australians
and the elderly Greeks in Greece had the
highest risk of death.
analyses containing ten potential predictors
of survival (mediterranean diet score,
memory score, general health score, activities
of daily living (ADL) score, exercise
score,social activity score, social networks
scores, wellbeing, smoking, gender)
revealed that diet was one of the most
important variables for survival.
Diet was more important than most of the
variables for survival, except for smoking,
being male and having a poor memory. Elderly
people in this study who had a more 'mediterranean
style' eating pattern i.e high intakes
of plant foods (cereals, legumes, vegetables,
fruits and nuts), low intakes of animal
foods (meat, milk and dairy products)
and moderate fish and alcohol consumption
had a reduced risk of death by more than
40%. Read the abstract more...
or full paper more......
study published in the
British Medical Journal 2005 by our
colleague Professor Trichopoulou once
again proves not only the longevity benefits
of the mediterranean food pattern (using
our original score published in the BMJ
in 1995) but that these benefits can also
be experienced by non-mediterranean people.
a study published by our past PhD
student at Monash University (Dr Irene
Darmadi-Blackberry) showed that the legume
food group in the mediterranean diet score
conferred the greatest impact on longevity
in comparison to the other food groups
in older Greeks, Swedes, Japanese and
So try to have a legume based meal at
least once a week -
see our recipes!