Balanced diet linked to better cognitive function

September 20 2022

2 minutes to read

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Researchers reported in a journal study that maintaining a balanced energy intake through diet was associated with significantly better cognitive function compared to unequal intake patterns. metabolism for life.

Hui Chen, Ph.D.Deputy Dean of the Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences at Zhejiang University in China and colleagues conducted a community cohort study to assess whether meal timing has an effect on cognitive function.

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Chen and colleagues used data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey from 1997 to 2006, and included participants aged 55 and over who had completed a nutritional assessment and at least one cognitive test. Participants were excluded if they had severe cognitive impairment at baseline; take in a large amount of energy; or had a stroke, ischemic attack, high blood pressure, diabetes or cancer in the first place.

A total of 3342 individuals were included for the analysis (mean age, 62.2 years). Of these, 61.2% live in rural areas, and 13.6% have a secondary education or higher.

The authors assessed dietary intake using a combination of weight and diet recall methods for 3 days and 24 hours in each wave. Average daily energy intake from breakfast, morning snacks, lunch, afternoon snacks, dinner and evening snacks was calculated using the Chinese food component table.

The authors identified six temporal patterns of energy intake (TPEIs) – participants with a ‘breakfast-dominated’ pattern had an average of 49.5% of daily total energy intake (TEI) from breakfast. Those with a “lunch-dominated” pattern got an average of 64.3% TEI from lunch. Participants with a ‘dominant dinner’ pattern received a 64.5 TEI. The ‘snack’ pattern was 36.8% TEI, and the ‘skip breakfast’ pattern was 5.9% TEI.

Finally, those with an ‘evenly distributed’ pattern had TEI evenly distributed among three main meals (28.5%, 36.3%, and 33.8% of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, respectively). A total of 33% of all participants maintained their patterns from baseline to the end of the study.

The authors assessed cognitive function by the cognitive status-adjusted telephone interview, which includes immediate and delayed word recalls, the countdown and serial subtraction test 7. Overall cognitive scores ranged from 0 to 27, with a higher score representing higher cognitive function.

The authors assessed the relationship of TPEIs to cognitive function using linear mixed models and adjusted for age, gender, residence, total energy, physical activity, smoking status, alcohol consumption, household income, education level, and body mass index.

Other than the equally distributed TPEIs, all other five phenotypes were associated with poorer cognitive function–predominant breakfast, -0.94; 95% CI, -1.37 to -0.51; The prevailing lunch – 1.18; 95% CI, -1.67 to -0.69; Dinner prevalent, -0.97; 95% CI, -1.43 to -0.51; rich snack, -1.05; 95% CI, -1.70 to -0.40; and skip breakfast, -1.32; 95% CI, -1.66 to -0.99.

In addition, compared to the equally distributed pattern, the breakfast-skipping pattern was associated with significantly faster cognitive decline of 0.14 points per year (95% CI, -0.24 to -0.04). This was only significant for individuals under 65 years of age.

“We observed that maintaining a balanced energy intake across three main meals was associated with significantly better cognitive function than the other five unevenly distributed patterns,” the authors wrote.