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Seniors' diet quality tanks

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

For his role in the movie "Father Stu" (due out this month), Mark Wahlberg gained 30 pounds by eating 7,000 calories a day. His diet included a dozen eggs, steak, half a roasted chicken and a "nightcap" consisting of oatmeal, apple sauce, jam, almond butter and molasses.

While Wahlberg's slide into hyper-horrible nutrition was temporary -- he lost the weight as soon as filming was over -- for many Americans 65 and older, a slide into ever-lousier eating habits hasn't had a turnaround. A study published in JAMA Open Network reveals that between 2001 and 2018, the number of older U.S. adults with "poor diet quality" increased from 51% to 61%. Overall, folks were eating more saturated fat and fewer whole grains. As for folks with ideal diet quality? Only a shocking 0.4% of people ate well enough to fall into that category.

For older adults, eating more heart-stopping saturated fat and fewer fiber-rich foods is a ticket for chronic diseases, as well as loss of muscle mass and tone and increased risk of infection, cognition problems, dementia and poor wound healing.

There's a revolution in healthy aging happening that will let you have a RealAge of 40 at 90 (I lay it out in my upcoming book "The Great Age Reboot"). Nutrition plays a big part: So make sure you get enough lean non-red meat protein, plenty of vegetables and fruit, and whole grains. Also, talk to your doc about which supplements, like vitamin D and a multivitamin, might benefit you.

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Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email questions@GreatAgeReboot.com.

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
 

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