Adherence to the Eatwell Guide and cardiometabolic, cognitive and neuroimaging parameters: an analysis from the PREVENT dementia study

Sarah Gregory, Alex Griffiths, Amy Jennings, Fiona C. Malcomson, Jamie Matu, Anne-Marie Minihane, Greciela Muniz-Terrera, Craig Richie, Solange Parra-Soto, Emma Stevenson, Rebecca Townsend, Nicola Ann Ward, Oliver Shannon

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The Eatwell guide reflects the UK government's recommendations for a healthy and balanced diet. Previous research has identified associations between healthy eating patterns and both cardiovascular and brain health, although there is little evidence specifically focusing on the Eatwell Guide. To date no research has investigated associations between the Eatwell Guide and risk for future dementia.

Data from the PREVENT dementia cohort study baseline visit was used in this analysis. Binary and graded Eatwell Guide scores (BEWG, GEWG) were created from a self-reported Food Frequency Questionnaire. The CAIDE score was included as the primary outcome measure to represent risk for future Alzheimer’s disease. Secondary outcome measures included cardiometabolic health measures and brain health measures. Generalised additive models were run in R.

A total of 517 participants were included in the analysis, with a mean BEWG score of 4.39 (± 1.66) (out of a possible 12 points) and GEWG score of 39.88 (± 6.19) (out of a possible 60 points). There was no significant association between either Eatwell Guide score and the CAIDE score (BEWG β: 0.07, 95% confidence interval (CI): -0.07, 0.22; GEWG β: 0.02, 95% CI: -0.02, 0.06) or any measures of brain health. There was a significant association between higher GEWG score and lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure and body mass index (BMI) (systolic β: -0.24, 95% CI: -0.45, -0.03; diastolic β: -0.16, 95% CI: -0.29, -0.03; BMI β: -0.09, 95% CI: -0.16, -0.01).

Although not directly associated with the CAIDE score, the Eatwell Guide dietary pattern may be beneficial for dementia prevention efforts through the modification of hypertension and obesity, which are both known risk factors for dementia. Future work could replicate these findings in other UK-based cohorts as well as further development of Eatwell Guide scoring methodologies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number21
Number of pages13
JournalNutrition & Metabolism
Publication statusPublished - 09 Apr 2024


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