Are a healthy diet and physical activity synergistically associated with cognitive functioning in older adults?

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Abstract

Objectives: Previous research has demonstrated that being both physically active and adhering a healthy diet is associated with improved cognitive functioning; however, it remains unclear whether these factors act synergistically. We investigated the synergistic association of a healthy diet and being physically active with cognitive functioning. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting and participants: Data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA) were used. We analyzed data from 2,165 community dwelling adults who were aged 55-85 years, 56% of whom were female. Cognitive functioning was assessed by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), an MMSE score of >26 indicates good cognitive functioning. Physical activity was assessed by the LASA Physical Activity Questionnaire and was considered sufficient if the person engaged in moderately intense physical activity ≥ 20 min/day. A healthy diet score was based on the intake of fruit, vegetables and fish. Each of the food groups was assigned a score that ranged from 1 (well below the Dutch guideline for a healthy diet) to 4 (well above the Dutch guideline for a healthy diet), and the scores were aggregated to determine a healthy diet (healthy ≥ 9 points). Multiple logistic and linear regression analyses were used to examine the (synergistic) association among physical activity, a healthy diet and cognitive functioning. All analyses were adjusted for potential chronic diseases and lifestyle confounders. Results: Of all of the participants, 25% were diagnosed with a cognitive impairment (MMSE ≤26), 80% were physically active and 41% had a healthy diet. Sixty three percent of the participants both adhered to a healthy diet and were physically active. Sufficient daily physical activity (OR=2.545 p<.001) and adherence to a healthy diet (OR=1.766 p=.002) were associated with good cognitive functioning. After adjusting for confounding factors, sufficient physical activity was not significantly related to cognitive functioning (p=.163); however adherence to a healthy diet remained significantly associated with good cognitive functioning (p=.017). No interaction among sufficient physical activity, healthy diet adherence and good cognitive functioning was observed (crude: p=.401, adjusted: p=.216).Conclusion: The results of this cross-sectional study indicate that adherence to a healthy diet is inde-pendently related to cognitive functioning. Being physically active does not modify this association. Furthermore, these two lifestyle factors do not synergistically relate to cognitive functioning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-532
JournalThe journal of nutrition, health & aging
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • diets
  • cognition
  • ageing
  • physical activity

Cite this

@article{85c48eb33e00411493f83f4ed905123f,
title = "Are a healthy diet and physical activity synergistically associated with cognitive functioning in older adults?",
abstract = "Objectives: Previous research has demonstrated that being both physically active and adhering a healthy diet is associated with improved cognitive functioning; however, it remains unclear whether these factors act synergistically. We investigated the synergistic association of a healthy diet and being physically active with cognitive functioning. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting and participants: Data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA) were used. We analyzed data from 2,165 community dwelling adults who were aged 55-85 years, 56{\%} of whom were female. Cognitive functioning was assessed by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), an MMSE score of >26 indicates good cognitive functioning. Physical activity was assessed by the LASA Physical Activity Questionnaire and was considered sufficient if the person engaged in moderately intense physical activity ≥ 20 min/day. A healthy diet score was based on the intake of fruit, vegetables and fish. Each of the food groups was assigned a score that ranged from 1 (well below the Dutch guideline for a healthy diet) to 4 (well above the Dutch guideline for a healthy diet), and the scores were aggregated to determine a healthy diet (healthy ≥ 9 points). Multiple logistic and linear regression analyses were used to examine the (synergistic) association among physical activity, a healthy diet and cognitive functioning. All analyses were adjusted for potential chronic diseases and lifestyle confounders. Results: Of all of the participants, 25{\%} were diagnosed with a cognitive impairment (MMSE ≤26), 80{\%} were physically active and 41{\%} had a healthy diet. Sixty three percent of the participants both adhered to a healthy diet and were physically active. Sufficient daily physical activity (OR=2.545 p<.001) and adherence to a healthy diet (OR=1.766 p=.002) were associated with good cognitive functioning. After adjusting for confounding factors, sufficient physical activity was not significantly related to cognitive functioning (p=.163); however adherence to a healthy diet remained significantly associated with good cognitive functioning (p=.017). No interaction among sufficient physical activity, healthy diet adherence and good cognitive functioning was observed (crude: p=.401, adjusted: p=.216).Conclusion: The results of this cross-sectional study indicate that adherence to a healthy diet is inde-pendently related to cognitive functioning. Being physically active does not modify this association. Furthermore, these two lifestyle factors do not synergistically relate to cognitive functioning.",
keywords = "diets, cognition, ageing, physical activity, dieet, cognitie, veroudering, fysieke activiteit",
author = "Willemke Nijholt and Harri{\"e}t Jager and M. Visser and {van der Schans}, Cees and Hans Hobbelen",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1007/s12603-015-0610-0",
language = "English",
volume = "20",
pages = "525--532",
journal = "The journal of nutrition, health & aging",
issn = "1760-4788",
publisher = "Springer",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Are a healthy diet and physical activity synergistically associated with cognitive functioning in older adults?

AU - Nijholt, Willemke

AU - Jager, Harriët

AU - Visser, M.

AU - van der Schans, Cees

AU - Hobbelen, Hans

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Objectives: Previous research has demonstrated that being both physically active and adhering a healthy diet is associated with improved cognitive functioning; however, it remains unclear whether these factors act synergistically. We investigated the synergistic association of a healthy diet and being physically active with cognitive functioning. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting and participants: Data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA) were used. We analyzed data from 2,165 community dwelling adults who were aged 55-85 years, 56% of whom were female. Cognitive functioning was assessed by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), an MMSE score of >26 indicates good cognitive functioning. Physical activity was assessed by the LASA Physical Activity Questionnaire and was considered sufficient if the person engaged in moderately intense physical activity ≥ 20 min/day. A healthy diet score was based on the intake of fruit, vegetables and fish. Each of the food groups was assigned a score that ranged from 1 (well below the Dutch guideline for a healthy diet) to 4 (well above the Dutch guideline for a healthy diet), and the scores were aggregated to determine a healthy diet (healthy ≥ 9 points). Multiple logistic and linear regression analyses were used to examine the (synergistic) association among physical activity, a healthy diet and cognitive functioning. All analyses were adjusted for potential chronic diseases and lifestyle confounders. Results: Of all of the participants, 25% were diagnosed with a cognitive impairment (MMSE ≤26), 80% were physically active and 41% had a healthy diet. Sixty three percent of the participants both adhered to a healthy diet and were physically active. Sufficient daily physical activity (OR=2.545 p<.001) and adherence to a healthy diet (OR=1.766 p=.002) were associated with good cognitive functioning. After adjusting for confounding factors, sufficient physical activity was not significantly related to cognitive functioning (p=.163); however adherence to a healthy diet remained significantly associated with good cognitive functioning (p=.017). No interaction among sufficient physical activity, healthy diet adherence and good cognitive functioning was observed (crude: p=.401, adjusted: p=.216).Conclusion: The results of this cross-sectional study indicate that adherence to a healthy diet is inde-pendently related to cognitive functioning. Being physically active does not modify this association. Furthermore, these two lifestyle factors do not synergistically relate to cognitive functioning.

AB - Objectives: Previous research has demonstrated that being both physically active and adhering a healthy diet is associated with improved cognitive functioning; however, it remains unclear whether these factors act synergistically. We investigated the synergistic association of a healthy diet and being physically active with cognitive functioning. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting and participants: Data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA) were used. We analyzed data from 2,165 community dwelling adults who were aged 55-85 years, 56% of whom were female. Cognitive functioning was assessed by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), an MMSE score of >26 indicates good cognitive functioning. Physical activity was assessed by the LASA Physical Activity Questionnaire and was considered sufficient if the person engaged in moderately intense physical activity ≥ 20 min/day. A healthy diet score was based on the intake of fruit, vegetables and fish. Each of the food groups was assigned a score that ranged from 1 (well below the Dutch guideline for a healthy diet) to 4 (well above the Dutch guideline for a healthy diet), and the scores were aggregated to determine a healthy diet (healthy ≥ 9 points). Multiple logistic and linear regression analyses were used to examine the (synergistic) association among physical activity, a healthy diet and cognitive functioning. All analyses were adjusted for potential chronic diseases and lifestyle confounders. Results: Of all of the participants, 25% were diagnosed with a cognitive impairment (MMSE ≤26), 80% were physically active and 41% had a healthy diet. Sixty three percent of the participants both adhered to a healthy diet and were physically active. Sufficient daily physical activity (OR=2.545 p<.001) and adherence to a healthy diet (OR=1.766 p=.002) were associated with good cognitive functioning. After adjusting for confounding factors, sufficient physical activity was not significantly related to cognitive functioning (p=.163); however adherence to a healthy diet remained significantly associated with good cognitive functioning (p=.017). No interaction among sufficient physical activity, healthy diet adherence and good cognitive functioning was observed (crude: p=.401, adjusted: p=.216).Conclusion: The results of this cross-sectional study indicate that adherence to a healthy diet is inde-pendently related to cognitive functioning. Being physically active does not modify this association. Furthermore, these two lifestyle factors do not synergistically relate to cognitive functioning.

KW - diets

KW - cognition

KW - ageing

KW - physical activity

KW - dieet

KW - cognitie

KW - veroudering

KW - fysieke activiteit

UR - http://www.mendeley.com/research/healthy-diet-physical-activity-synergistically-associated-cognitive-functioning-older-adults

U2 - 10.1007/s12603-015-0610-0

DO - 10.1007/s12603-015-0610-0

M3 - Article

VL - 20

SP - 525

EP - 532

JO - The journal of nutrition, health & aging

JF - The journal of nutrition, health & aging

SN - 1760-4788

IS - 5

ER -