, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 69-87
Date: 08 Apr 2014

Diet and Healthy Patterns in the Elderly

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In western countries, populations are aging due to progress in the prevention of infectious diseases and living standards. Following a healthy lifestyle should reduce the burden of disease and avoid loss of function and disability at older ages. The purpose of this review was to analyze the relationship between adhering to the Mediterranean diet, being a nonsmoker, and doing regular physical activity and health in individuals older than 65 years. A search in MEDLINE showed that most of the studies were conducted in non-Mediterranean countries, most of them used similar methods to evaluate adherence to the Mediterranean Diet as well as smoking habits. Self-reported methods were used for measuring physical activity, but there were no coincidence regarding the timeframe, domain, or quantification. The main results of all studies indicated a reduction in the overall mortality, incidence of cardiovascular disease, and functional capacity for those individuals older than 65 years following a healthy lifestyle. Some, but not all, of the reviewed studies showed a protective role for cognitive decline.