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MedDiet: lower risk of heart disease among young workers

20140614 healthnutriAmong a large group of Midwestern firefighters, greater adherence to a Mediterranean-style Diet was associated with lower risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA). 

"Our study adds more evidence showing the health benefits of a Mediterranean Diet, even after adjusting for exercise and body weight," said Stefanos Kales.

U.S. firefighters are known to have a high prevalence of obesity and risk factors for CVD. A Mediterranean diet, rich in fish, nuts, vegetables, and fruits, has been shown in previous studies to lower risk of CVD. However, those studies have primarily been conducted among older people, those with existing health conditions, and among Mediterranean populations.

The firefighter group with greatest adherence to Mediterranean-style diet showed a 35% decreased risk in metabolic syndrome, a condition with risk factors that include a large waistline, high triglyceride level, low HDL ("good") cholesterol level, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. The group with the highest mMDS also had a 43% lower risk of weight gain compared with the lowest mMDS group.

The study is the first to assess the effects of Mediterranean-style diet among a group of young, working U.S. adults. "The logical next steps from our investigation are studies using the workplace to specifically promote Mediterranean dietary habits among firefighters and other U.S. workers," said Justin Yang, lead author of the study and a post-doctoral fellow at HSPH.

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Editing by: CHARIS DIMOSTHENOPOULOS - Dietitian, Biologist
Ελληνικά (GR)English (UK)