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Mediterranean Diet May Help Women Live Longer, Healthier Lives

Study finds that following diet during middle age ups odds of living past 70 by 40 percent

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Other studies also have found that healthy diets such as the Mediterranean diet are linked to better long-term health, but this new study is only observational, said Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis. That means "cause and effect cannot be conclusively linked," said Diekman, former president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Among the other limitations of the study, she said, is that the researchers looked at only two food questionnaires during the study period, providing a far from thorough look at actual eating habits.

Diekman said, however, that there are plenty of reasons to promote better diets such as the Mediterranean.

"We know that healthier behaviors in women, and men, become a pattern, and thus a lifestyle that promotes health," she said.

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