Eat Healthy food, exercise in youth to retain optimal health in later years: Study

Will Kreznick

Eat Healthy food, exercise in youth to retain optimal health in later years: Study&nbsp Key Highlights Researchers during a recent study found that following a routine of regular physical activity combined with a diet including fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods may be the key to middle-aged adults achieving […]


Eat Healthy food, exercise in youth to retain optimal health in later years: Study&nbsp

Key Highlights

  • Researchers during a recent study found that following a routine of regular physical activity combined with a diet including fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods may be the key to middle-aged adults achieving optimal cardiometabolic health later in life.
  • The new research that used data from the Framingham Heart Study, was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, an open-access journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers who used data mined from a  Framingham Heart Study and published in the Journal of the American Heart Association claim that middle-aged persons who followed a routine of regular physical activity combined with a diet including fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods will have found the key to unlock optimal cardiometabolic health later in life.

Cardiometabolic health risk factors include:

  1. metabolic syndrome
  2. a cluster of disorders such as excess fat around the waist, 
  3. insulin resistance,
  4. high blood pressure

Cardiologists warn middle-aged persons against allowing metabolic syndrome to set in as its presence may increase the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes.

The new research that used data from the Framingham Heart Study, was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, an open-access journal of the American Heart Association, reports ANI.

Researchers noted it has been unclear whether adherence to both –

  1. the US Department of Health and Human Services 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, and
  2. the US Department of Health and Human Services 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans 

as opposed to only one of the two — in midlife confers the most favourable cardiometabolic health outcomes later in life.

The physical activity guidelines:
recommend that adults achieve at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week, such as walking or swimming. 
The dietary guidelines: 

(updated in January 2021) recommend healthy eating patterns, nutritional targets and dietary limits.

Cycling stamina endurance cardiovascular exerciseThe long study, vast data:

  1. The Framingham Heart Study began more than 70 years ago in Framingham, Massachusetts.
  2. Data from 2,379 adults ages 18 and older were observed.
  3. Their adherence to the two guidelines was studied.
  4. Meeting a combination of the two recommendations during midlife was associated with lower odds of metabolic syndrome and developing serious health conditions as participants aged in their senior years in 2016-2019 examinations.

“Health care professionals could use these findings to further promote and emphasise to their patients the benefits of a healthy diet and a regular exercise schedule to avoid the development of numerous chronic health conditions in the present and in later life,” said corresponding author Vanessa Xanthakis, PhD, FAHA, assistant professor of medicine and biostatistics in the Section of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology at Boston University School of Medicine in Boston.

“The earlier people make these lifestyle changes, the more likely they will be to lower their risk of cardiovascular-associated diseases later in life,” added Xanthakis.

Eat Healthy food, exercise in youth to retain optimal health in later years: Study

How the results were derived:

  1. Researchers evaluated physical activity
  2. Used a specialised device known as an omnidirectional accelerometer
  3. This device tracks sedentary and physical activity
  4. It was worn on the participant’s hip for eight days
  5. Dietary information collected from food frequency questionnaires
  6. Info on kinds and levels of food and nutrients consumed was gathered

Conclusion:

  1. -participants who followed the physical activity recommendations alone had 51 per cent lower odds of metabolic syndrome;
  2. -participants who adhered to the dietary guidelines alone had 33 per cent lower odds; and
  3. -participants who followed both guidelines had 65 per cent lower odds of developing metabolic syndrome.

The importance of neither physical exercise nor proper diet can be undermined and good health is the outcome of a balanced combination of both these facets.

The study also needs to have a multiethnic participant sample to be considered applicable to all, say the researchers. The participants in the said study were white adults, therefore, the findings cannot be generalised to people in other racial or ethnic groups.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.

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