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Eat Fruits- Keep Diseases at Bay

ble behavioral changes to consume a healthy diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables."

Previous studies have shown a disparity in the diets of blacks and whites, as well as a more serious disparity in the incidence of heart disease, cancer and stroke. A second article published in the April issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine examined whether the diets of non-Hispanic blacks have improved relative to the diets of whites.

Also working with the data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) I (1971¨C75); II (1976¨C1980); III (1988¨C1994); 1999¨C2000; and 2001¨C2002, researchers found that little progress has been made in closing the gap between blacks and whites.

In fact, the authors point out that the results are remarkable for similarity of trajectories in all race¨Cgender groups. The quantity of food, total energy intake, energy from carbohydrate, and energy density increased, and energy from total and saturated fat and cholesterol intake decreased across the board.

These results suggest a population-wide shift in intake of energy and macronutrients over the 3-decade span of the four surveys and may reflect changes in diet that were adopted by all race¨Cgender groups.

Dr. Ashima Kant, PhD, Queens College of the City University of New York, concludes, "Dietary intake trends in blacks and whites over the past several decades appear to be similar?asuggesting that previously identified dietary risk factors that differentially affect black Americans have not improved in a relative sense.

The differences observed need to be confirmed with biomarkers, but would seem sufficiently strong to warrant intensified study and action to better understand the sociocultural or environmental factors that anchor these persistent differentials and identify approaches to effect change while building on strengths of current dietary patterns where possible."

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