Following a Western style diet based on fried, sweet, processed and high-fat food products can reduce a person's chances of achieving older ages in good health and with higher functionality, says a new study. "The impact of diet on specific age-related diseases has been studied extensively, but few investigations have adopted a more holistic approach to determine the association of diet with overall health at older ages," said lead author Tasnime Akbaraly, researcher at Inserm, Montpellier, France. The study was conducted on British adults and its findings were published in the May issue of The American Journal of Medicine. Those who followed a "Western-type diet" consisting of fried and sweet food, processed food and red meat, refined grains, and high-fat dairy products lowered their chances for ideal aging, reports Science Daily. "We examined whether diet, assessed in midlife, using dietary patterns and adherence to the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), is associated with aging phenotypes, identified after a mean 16-year follow-up," Akbaraly added. The study found that participants with low adherence to the AHEI increased their risk of cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular death.