Food : small changes, big profits

Health 17 July, 2017


Published the 17.07.2017 to 12h21


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Eat less fatty, less salty, less sweet, five fruits and vegetables per day, broccoli, nuts, drink cranberry juice and a little bit of coffee… nutritional recommendations to protect his or her health never end, and it is easy to get lost.

Eating healthy may ultimately be more accessible than this. Researchers from the school of public health, Harvard (Usa) have indeed shown that small changes to supply a well thought-out could be sufficient to significantly improve the impact of health meals.

The reduction of mortality

They have studied the effects of dietary changes on the survival of almost 75 000 people, whose diet was analyzed for 12 years, and the health 12 additional years. The quality of food was assessed by three different methods, which provide a score for the ” health “.

The Harvard researchers then observed that a slight improvement in these scores was sufficient to obtain substantial gains : an increase of 20 points (out of 100), the mortality during the study was reduced from 8% to 17%. Conversely, an identical reduction was associated with an increase in mortality of 6% to 12%.

“Our study shows that a small improvement in the quality of the diet could significantly influence the risk of mortality, and vice versa,” says Mercedes Sotos-Prieto, epidemiologist, nutrition specialist, and lead author of the study.

A portion to change

An increase of 20 points, this may seem like a lot. But in reality, it would be sufficient to replace a daily portion of meat or cured meats with a serving of vegetables or fruit shells to reach them.

“Our results underscore the long-term benefits on the health of an improvement in the quality of the diet, according to Frank Hu, professor of nutrition at Harvard, and one of the authors of the study. They also highlight the importance of global trends of a system, rather than specific ingredients. Therefore, there is no diet good-for-all “.