1. Those with the lowest risk of mortality had the highest diet quality score and higher levels of physical activity.
2. High levels of physical activity did not counteract the detrimental effects of a poor diet concerning mortality risk.
Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)
Regular physical activity and a healthy diet are known to play important roles in preventing chronic disease. However, only a small number of studies have explored the interaction between diet and physical activity concerning long-term outcomes such as mortality. As a result, the objective of the present study was to examine the association of diet and different intensities of physical activity on all-cause, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer mortality in British adults from the UK biobank study.
Between April 2007-December 2010, 502 632 participants (aged 40-69 years) were included. Patients were excluded if they had comorbidities such as renal, cardiac, neurological, pulmonary disease. The median follow-up was 11.2 years. Physical activity was measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) whereas diet quality was assessed using a dietary index. Data analysis was performed using Cox proportional hazards model and sensitivity analyses. Results demonstrated that those with the lowest risk of mortality had the highest diet quality score and higher levels of physical activity. Furthermore, high levels of physical activity did not counteract the detrimental effects of a poor diet concerning mortality risk.
However, the study was limited by the fact that both physical activity and diet were measured at one time point only, thereby limiting the evaluation of long-term behaviors. Despite this, the study’s comprehensive analysis and long follow-up provided strong evidence for health professionals to be strong advocates for both physical activity and higher diet quality.
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