MONDAY, April 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Better overall diet quality is significantly associated with lower odds of impairment in physical function among older men, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging.

Kaitlin A. Hagan, Sc.D., and Francine Grodstein, Sc.D., both from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, examined the association between diet quality (measured with the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 [AHEI], a measure of diet quality combining 11 dietary components) and impairment in physical function among 12,658 men participating in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (2008 through 2012).

The researchers found that each 10-point increase in total AHEI score was associated with 10 percent lower odds of impairment in physical function (odds ratio, 0.90). Men with AHEI scores in the top quintile had a 26 percent lower odds of impairment versus men in the bottom quintile (odds ratio, 0.74). Significant associations were seen for lower odds of impairment with individual AHEI-2010 components such as higher intake of vegetables, nuts, and legumes, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and lower intake of red and processed meats and sugar-sweetened beverages.

“Given the value of physical function to healthy aging and quality of life, this may represent a particularly compelling public health rationale for older men to improve their diet,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the food industry.

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