‘Pie hole’, colloquial for one’s mouth, is believed to have evolved in the USA in the 1980s from the British expression ‘cake hole’ (coined in the mid 20th century). Pie hole refers to a mouth, as in: Shut your pie hole or, in this case: Put less in your pie hole.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

We Don't Make This Stuff Up For Our Health...

Dietary Guidelines. All countries differ slightly in what and how much they recommend their population eat for optimal health. The food groups remain the same, portion sizes are similar and the breakdown of food groups making up the diet is comparable. Ever wondered about these guidelines? Today we discuss eating habits prescribed by dietary guidelines and how this affects aging in terms of quality of life (QOL). Grab your walking frame and tennis balls as we hobble up destiny lane.

Dietary guidelines and recommendations in the US and Australia similarly advocate high intakes of fruit and vegetables. They recommend a majority (~55%) of energy/calories come from whole grain cereals, breads, pasta, rice etc. Guidelines suggest moderate amount of dairy, meat, poultry, fish and small amounts of fats, oils and other 'sometimes' foods. Nothing new there, it's what we've heard our whole lives.

The burning question is: Does following the rules now help you later? To answer this question, we must tease apart the issue a bit more. A recent study followed a large cohort of adults (3,000) aged 45-60 years old for 12 years. They collected and analysed nutrition data, as well as evaluated both their mental and physical QOL.

Physical QOL looks at: a person's limitations caused by physical problems, bodily pain, and general health.
Mental QOL looks at: mental health, social functioning, and a person's limitations caused by emotional problems.

The study investigated compliance with both dietary and physical activity guidelines. Here's what they found:
  • Those who followed dietary guidelines had better physical QOL after the 12 years
  • Those who observed dietary guidelines had better initial mental QOL
  • Those who adhered to the physical activity guidelines had better initial physical and mental QOL

This summary brought to you by the Captain Obvious files:
Following a high quality diet combined with physical activity that aligns with prescribed guidelines does indeed translate to better aging, QOL and decreased cognitive impairment (similar to findings in last week's article: Losing Your Mind? Can the Mediterranean Diet Help?).

So train your pie hole, because healthy eating and activity behaviours now lead to better aging and QOL later.

1 comment: