Well-being, food habits, and lifestyle for longevity. Preliminary evidence from the sardinian centenarians and long-lived people of the Blue Zone
AbstractLifestyle, physical, and mental health impact successful aging. However, at present, extensive literature about the interplay among perceived mental and physical health, lifestyle, and food intake in long-lived people residing in areas of exceptional longevity is lacking. This study was mainly aimed at examining the relationships among self-assessed life satisfaction, physical health, lifestyle, and food intake in the last two decades of life. A further goal was to investigate the impact of age-related factors on the above variables. The recruitment was mainly conducted in the Sardinian Blue Zone, a well-documented area of exceptional longevity in Sardinia, an Italian Island located in the Mediterranean Sea. Twenty-nine octogenarians (Mage = 83.9 years, SD = 2.7) and 28 gender-matched long-lived (Mage = 97.6 years, SD = 7.9) community-dwellers took voluntarily part in the study. Each participant individually completed a battery of tasks assessing their global cognitive efficiency, life satisfaction, lifestyle, food intake, and perceived physical health. The results highlighted that life satisfaction was significantly associated with time spent on outdoor leisure activities (r = .314, p = .026), perceived physical health (r = .459, p = .001), and carbohydrate intake (r = .333, p = .021). Moreover, the octogenarians and long-lived groups reported similar levels of life satisfaction (t(56) = .573, p = .569, Cohen’s d = .164). In conclusion, healthy nutrition habits and a physically active lifestyle boosting mental and physical health are crucial for promoting optimal aging.
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