Problem Healthy elderly people eating the wrong foods

The guidelines for a prudent diet (section 7.3) can be summarized as:

  • fat to provide 30% of energy;
  • saturated fat to provide 10% of energy (one-third of total fat);
  • sucrose to provide 10% of energy.

A study of healthy elderly people (aged between 70 and 75) in Roskilde in Denmark found that:

• 5% of them received more than 50% of energy from fat;

228 Diet and the diseases of affluence

Table 7.4 Relative mortality in cholesterol-l

owering intervention trials

Relative mortality

Cardiovascular disease

0.85

All causes

1.07

Cancer (only in drug trials)

1.43

Not illness related

1.76

From data reported by Muldoon MF et al. (1990) British Medical Journal 301: 309-314.

From data reported by Muldoon MF et al. (1990) British Medical Journal 301: 309-314.

  • 22% had an intake of more than 50% of their fat as saturated fat;
  • 90% received more than 10% of energy from sugar;
  • 46% of the men were smokers.

What explanation can you suggest to explain these results?

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