Eat More Fruits and Veggies to Live Longer

by Sandy Todd Webster on Sep 19, 2013

Food for Thought

While it seems logical that fruit and vegetable consumption would enhance our chances of living a longer life, few large cohort studies have officially investigated the association. The scant experiments that exist have produced inconsistent results, say authors of a study published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [2013, 98 (2), 454-59].

Scientists at the Units of Nutritional Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, set out to explore the link between fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality in a large group (71,706 participants) aged 45-83. In 13 years of follow-up tracking, 11,439 of the participants died. Compared with participants who said they ate five fruits and vegetables per day, those who consumed fewer were linked to higher mortality rates, reported the researchers.

“Those who never consumed fruits and vegetables lived 3 years shorter and had a 53% higher mortality rate than did those who consumed five servings of fruits and vegetables per day,” the study authors said.

Those who never consumed fruit lived 19 months less than those who ate one fruit per day. The study also found that participants who consumed three vegetables per day lived 32 months longer than those who never consumed vegetables.

The researchers concluded that eating fewer than five fruit and vegetable servings per day was associated with shorter survival and higher mortality rates.

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About the Author

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Sandy Todd Webster is Editor in Chief of IDEA's publications, including the award-winning IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL and IDEA FOOD & NUTRITION TIPS, the industry's leading resources for fitness, wellness and nutrition professionals worldwide. Sandy joined IDEA in 2001 as executive editor of IDEA PERSONAL TRAINER and IDEA FITNESS MANAGER magazines and was promoted to lead the editorial team in 2003. More than 20 years in magazine publishing, marketing communications and creative services have shaped her straightforward approach to multi-channel communication. Early experience in Los Angeles as a sports writer/reporter, and then enriching years as a managing editor in allied health care publishing have pulled her across a spectrum of stimulating subject matter. Fitness, health and nutrition reside at the perfect center of this content continuum, she feels. A Chicago native, Sandy grew up fully engaged in various competitive sports. Her drive and dedication as an athlete translate to a disciplined work ethic and unwavering approach to challenge in her career. Shortly after graduating journalism school from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, she was recruited to L.A. for her first post in magazine publishing. After two decades of working on magazines--and now in the throes of applying the unbelieveable multi-media content delivery options available in the magazine 2.0 world--she is still "completely in love" with the creative process it takes to deliver meaningful, inspirational content to end users. She is an accomplished home cook and gardner who would love to combine those skills and passions with her health and fitness background to continue educating readers about a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle.