chapter  4
12 Pages


Optimizing nutritional status during the premenopausal years is critical to maintaining health as women age. In developed countries, women on average live 6-8 years longer than men [1]. Life expectancy for women now exceeds 80 years in at least 35 countries and is approaching this threshold in several other countries [1]. However, the life expectancy of women in countries at different levels of development is markedly different, ranging from just over 50 years in the least developed countries to 60 or 70 years in those undergoing rapid economic development [1]. Since themajor preventable causes of morbidity andmortality all take effect over the life cycle, prevention strategies will be most effective when initiated as early in the life course as possible. Improving dietary intake during the premenopausal years can therefore play a key role in reducing risk factors of chronic disease and improving health and quality of life as women age.