A healthy diet could help to prevent visual impairment

A ten year study of almost 2,000 Australians has found that a good diet can help to reduce vision loss in later life.
The study set out to determine whether the prevalence of open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension was linked to nutrition.
Almost 2,000 Australians aged 65 and over took part in the study, which was carried out by researchers from the Universities of Melbourne, Wollongong and Sydney. The participants had eyes tests done at the beginning of the study, and after five and ten years, at which point the study ended. They also completed questionnaires analysing their diet.
Data on 1,963 participants was collected in total, and a higher Total Diet Score (TDS), which was generated from the questionnaire answers, was associated with a reduced risk of visual impairment, when compared to those who scored lower on the healthy diet score.
“The Total Diet Score (TDS) was developed based on a modified version of the Australian diet quality index to assess adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Australian Adults and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating,” the researchers explained.
This means that an adherence to a diet commonly accepted as “healthy” that was close to the official guidelines set out in Australia was therefore found to reduce the risk of certain eye diseases, and shows yet another aspect of how a healthy diet can improve our health.
It is important to eat healthily early on in life in order to reap the benefits for as long as possible. Eating healthily can help to prevent long term conditions like type 2 diabetes that can develop later in life as a result of an unhealthy diet and a lack of exercise.
The authors wrote that “further research on diet and health outcomes including vision and ocular diseases is merited, given that dietary consumption is the most frequent, but modifiable, lifetime environmental exposure that affects health directly in the longer term.”

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