The increased life expectancy in the last two centuries has led to a shift in age distribution. However, the additional life years are not always healthy life years, as aging is often accompanied by chronic diseases, cognitive decline, increased dependency, and frailty. Because these age-related conditions heavily influence individuals' quality of life and pose a large burden on society, healthy aging has become a major public health challenge. One of the key modifiable factors that influence healthy aging is nutrition. Traditionally, research on nutrition has focused on the effects of single foods or nutrients on health outcomes. Nevertheless, foods are combined into meals and meals constitute a dietary pattern. Studies on dietary patterns take into account quantities and combinations of foods, food groups, and nutrients, allowing for possible interaction effects. In this chapter we summarize what is known about the effects of dietary patterns on healthy aging. First, the current evidence on the association between dietary patterns and age-related diseases is summarized. Then, the associations of dietary patterns with comprehensive healthy aging indicators, including sarcopenia, inflammation, and frailty, are discussed.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Schoufour, J., Voortman, T., Franco, O., & Kiefte-de Jong, J. (2016). Dietary Patterns and Healthy Aging. In Food for the Aging Population. - Second Edition. - (A volume in Woodhead Publishing Series in Food Science, Technology and Nutrition) (pp. 223–254). doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-100348-0.00011-1