Diet Quality and Biological Risk in a National Sample of Older Americans

Yeon Jin Choi, Jennifer A. Ailshire, Jung Ki Kim, Eileen M. Crimmins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Using comprehensive measures of biological risk, this study aims to investigate the relationship between intake of individual dietary components, overall diet quality, and biological dysregulation. Methods: We analyzed nationally representative data from 3734 older adults who participated in the Health and Retirement Study Venous Blood Study in 2016 and Health Care and Nutrition Survey in 2013. Results: Eleven out of 13 individual dietary components were associated with lower biological risk. Respondents with poor/suboptimal quality diet had higher biological risk than those with good quality diet. Discussion: Findings from this study emphasize the importance of healthy eating in improving health of older adults. Encouraging intake of fruits, greens and beans, whole grains, and fatty acids, while limiting consumption of sodium, added sugar, and saturated fat would improve overall diet quality and contribute to the prevention of chronic diseases and morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-549
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health (T32-AG000037; P30 AG017265).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • allostatic load
  • biological process
  • healthy eating
  • physiological dysregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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