Adherence to dietary guidelines and successful aging over 10 years

Bamini Gopinath, Joanna Russell, Annette Kifley, Victoria M. Flood, Paul Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Background. We aimed to prospectively examine the relationship between overall diet quality (reflecting adherence to dietary guidelines) and successful aging in a population-based cohort of older adults. Methods. In this population-based cohort study, we analyzed 10-year follow-up data from 1,609 adults aged 49 years and older, who were free of cancer, coronary artery disease, and stroke at the baseline and who had complete dietary data. Dietary data were collected using a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. Total diet scores (TDS) were allocated for intake of selected food groups and nutrients for each participant as described in the national dietary guidelines. Higher scores indicated closer adherence to dietary guidelines. Successful aging was defined as the absence of disability, depressive symptoms, cognitive impairment, respiratory symptoms, and chronic diseases (cancer, coronary artery disease, and stroke). Results. At 10-year follow-up, 610 (37.9%) participants had died and 249 (15.5%) participants aged successfully. After multivariable adjustment, each 1-unit increase in TDS at baseline was associated with a 8% increased odds of successful aging 10 years later, odds ratio 1.08 (95% confidence interval 1.00-1.15). Participants in the highest (high adherence to dietary guidelines) versus lowest quartile (poor adherence to guidelines) of TDS at baseline had 58% higher odds of successful aging after 10 years, odds ratio 1.58 (95% confidence interval 1.02-2.46). Conclusions. Greater compliance with recommended national dietary guidelines (higher diet quality) was associated with an increased likelihood of successful aging, as determined through a multidomain approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-355
Number of pages7
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • epidemiology
  • morbidity
  • normative aging
  • nutrition
  • public health
  • successful aging


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