Changes in dietary intake and adherence to the NU-AGE diet following a one-year dietary intervention among European older adults—Results of the NU-AGE randomized trial

Agnes A. M. Berendsen, Ondine van de Rest, Edith J. M. Feskens, Aurelia Santoro, Rita Ostan, Barbara Pietruszka, Anna Brzozowska, Agnieszka Stelmaszczyk-Kusz, Amy Jennings, Rachel Gillings, Aedin Cassidy, Aurélie Caille, Elodie Caumon, Corinne Malpuech-Brugere, Claudio Franceschi, Lisette C. P. G. M. de Groot

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Background: The Mediterranean Diet has been proposed as an effective strategy to reduce inflammaging, a chronic low grade inflammatory status, and thus, to slow down the aging process. We evaluated whether a Mediterranean-like dietary pattern specifically targeting dietary recommendations of people aged over 65 years (NU-AGE diet) could be effective to shift dietary intake of older adults towards a healthful diet. Methods: Adults aged 65–80 years across five EU-centers were randomly assigned to a NU-AGE diet group or control group. The diet group followed one year of NU-AGE dietary intervention specifying consumption of 15 food groups plus the use of a vitamin D supplement. Participants in the diet group received counselling and individually tailored dietary advice, food products and a vitamin D supplement. Dietary intake was assessed by means of seven-day food records at baseline and one-year follow-up. A continuous NU-AGE index (0–160 points) was developed to assess NU-AGE diet adherence. Results: In total 1296 participants were randomized and 1141 participants completed the intervention (571 intervention, 570 control). After one year, the diet group improved mean intake of 13 out of 16 NU-AGE dietary components (p < 0.05), with a significant increase in total NU-AGE index (difference in mean change = 21.3 ± 15.9 points, p < 0.01). Conclusions: The NU-AGE dietary intervention, based on dietary recommendations for older adults, consisting of individual dietary counselling, free healthy foods and a vitamin D supplement, may be a feasible strategy to improve dietary intake in an aging European population.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1905
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2018

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