Poor diet risk reviewed
A new study shows people with diets high in chocolate and lollies, butter and white bread may be at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death in middle-age.
Researchers in Australia and the UK have worked together to identify two diets that were associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death in middle-age in Britain.
The first was high in chocolate, confectionary, butter and white bread and low in fresh fruit and vegetables. The second was high in sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juice, chocolate, confectionary, table sugar and preserves and low in butter and higher-fat cheese.
The researchers found that those who ate the first diet were more likely to be male, younger, experiencing economic deprivation, current smokers, less physically active, living with obesity or have hypertension compared to those whose diet did not include high amounts of these foods.
In this group, individuals who were younger than 60 years old or living with overweight or obesity had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than individuals who were older than 60 years or not living with overweight or obesity.
Those eating diets with foods from the second group were found to have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality, even though they also tended to be physically active and less likely to be current smokers or living with obesity, hypertension, diabetes or high cholesterol, than those who did not eat this diet. Women, individuals who were younger than 60 years old or who lived with obesity in particular had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, if they consumed a diet high in these foods.
The authors point out that because this is an observational study, it cannot make conclusions about a causal relationship between diet, cardiovascular disease and mortality. Future research could investigate the potential reasons for the associations between the two diets investigated in this study and cardiovascular disease and mortality.
“Our research suggests that eating less chocolate, confectionery, butter, low-fibre bread, sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juice, table sugar and preserves could be associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease or death during middle-age,” says researcher Carmen Piernas.
“This is consistent with previous research which has suggested that eating foods that contain less sugar and fewer calories may be associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
“The findings of this study could be used to create food-based dietary advice that could help people eat more healthily and reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.”