A recent study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology reveals that middle-aged adults who maintain a healthy diet are likely to have improved physical fitness. Dr. Michael Mi from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, the author of the study, emphasizes the strong evidence supporting the link between a good diet and higher levels of fitness. The research involved 2,380 adults with an average age of 54, with an equal distribution of men and women. The participants underwent a cardiopulmonary exercise test on a cycle ergometer to measure their peak VO2, which represents the maximum rate of oxygen consumption during physical activity.
The findings of the study indicate that individuals with higher scores on the Alternative Healthy Eating Index and the Mediterranean-style Diet Score achieved a 5.2% and 4.5% greater peak VO2, respectively. Furthermore, the analysis demonstrated that healthy eating was also associated with improved metabolic health.
Dr. Michael Mi, the study author from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, stated, “This study provides some of the most robust and compelling evidence to date supporting the connection between better diets and higher fitness levels. The fitness improvements observed in participants with healthier diets were comparable to the effect of taking an additional 4,000 steps each day.”