Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Wasting Diets?

The following article is a straight lift from today's London Times. Don't you just wish that all those thousands of scientists, employed at huge expense, could come up with some definitive answers on the subject of Diet?
It's not as if there weren't an enormous number of Diet books on the shelves, or that drug and food companies don't see the huge financial potential of cracking the problem.
It makes you wonder just how reliable are all the other drug and treatment regimes, for a very wide variety of ailments, that have supposedly passed all their required "scientific" tests.

Times Article
"A DIET high in fruit and vegetables and low in fat may be seen as the panacea for all ills, but research questions its effectiveness in tackling some of the deadliest diseases in women.
Three studies, as part of the Women’s Health Initiative study in the United States and involving 50,000 post-menopausal women, indicate that eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and low-fat foods does not reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and breast and bowel cancers.
The women, who were tracked for more than eight years, showed little evidence of greater disease protection from cutting back on fat — despite theories of the dramatic impact that this can have on health.
The studies, published yesterday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggest that a healthy diet may have to be followed more rigorously and for longer to reap possible benefits against cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Researchers asked more than 19,500 women aged 50 to 79 to take up a more healthy diet, while the eating habits of another group of 29,300 women remained unchanged.
The expected impact on rates of breast and bowel cancer and heart disease did not materialise. A 9 per cent reduction in breast cancer incidence indicated that out of 10,000 women, 42 in the low-fat group and 45 in the control group developed the disease each year.
Overall rates of colo-rectal, or bowel, cancer were not lowered by the healthier diet, but reducing fat consumption did produce a 9 per cent decrease in colon polyps, which can lead to colon cancer. Nor was there any significant reduction in heart-disease risk among the women eating less fat. Rates of heart disease fell by 3 per cent, and blood levels of “bad” cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, dropped by only 2.4 per cent.
The researchers said that the importance of different types of fat was not recognised when the investigation started, so the women were merely asked to reduce total fat consumption. "

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