Consumption of ultra-processed foods is strongly associated with in increase in risk of frailty in older adults

In May 2019 researchers from Spain, the USA and Sweden published the results of their study to assess the association between ultra-processed food intake and frailty in community-dwelling older adults. A total of 1,822 individuals, aged over 60 years, were included in the study. Information on food consumption was collected via face-to-face dietary history. Ultra-processed foods were identified according to the nature and extent of their manufacturing process. The individuals were followed for an average of 3.5 years, during which time 132 cases of frailty were identified. Results showed that the risks of frailty increased in line with the percentage of total energy intake from ultra-processed foods. When a comparison was made between the highest and lowest intake of ultra-processed food groups, it was seen that yogurts and fermented milks, cakes and pastries, as well as non-alcoholic beverages (instant coffee and cocoa, packaged juices, and other non-alcoholic drinks, excluding soft drinks) also significantly increased the risk of frailty.

Sandoval-Insausti H et al. Ultra-processed Food Consumption and Incident Frailty: A prospective Cohort Study of Older Adults. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2019 May 27. [Epub ahead of print]

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