It's no news that our diet affects our health and overall well-being. Most people understand that consuming a poor diet can lead to obesity and cardiovascular health issues. However, new research indicates that some diets may be linked to vision impairment and loss as well.
New Study Links Diet to Vision Loss
A new research study, which was published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology
, recently revealed that people who consume a 'Western diet' are three times more likely to experience late-stage development of age-related muscular degeneration (AMD).
According to the National Eye Institute, AMD is an eye disease the blurs the central vision. In people 50-years-old and above, it is the leading cause of vision loss. Current risk factors include people who smoke and those who have a family history of AMD.
This is the first research study of its kind indicating that a poor diet can negatively impact vision. The study is nearly two decades in the making. It involved approximately 1,300 participants. These participants completed two diet-related surveys over a span of 18 years.
Western Diet May Increase AMD Risk
The researches of this study separated the diet patterns of its participants into one of two categories: healthy or 'prudent' diets, and unhealthy or 'Western' diets. The latter included foods such as:
Sugary, sweetened beverages
Processed and red meat
High-fat dairy products
Fats, including butter and margarine
This research suggests that a poor diet can cause vision loss later in life and increase one's risk for AMD. It's worth noting that the association was made for the late-development of AMD, but not for the early onset of AMD.
Amy Millen, the lead author of the study, also explained that consuming a healthy diet doesn't necessarily reduce one's risk of AMD. However, sticking to a healthy, prudent diet pattern may minimize the chances of developing vision loss later in life.