Eat 7 Fruits and Vegetables a Day: A Study Shows a Decrease in Cancer and Heart Disease Mortality Rate

grilling_vegetablesI eat a lot of fruits and vegetables: apples, green beans, cauliflower, etc. I’m not some health nut. I just like to eat large portions of simple things. That includes fruits and veggies, but it also includes steak, chicken, oatmeal, almonds, etc. I don’t particularly care about long term benefits of this kind of diet, but it’s nice to read studies that tell me my diet is at least good for something.

Folks at University College London published a paper in March 2014 that analyzed the data in the Health Survey for England. What they found is kind of amazing: Eating 7 or more fruits and vegetables a day reduced the relative probability of death (hazard ratio or relative mortality rate) from any cause by 40%. That is amazing! In more detail, eating 7+ fruits and veggies:

  • Decreased all-cause mortality by 40%
  • Decreased cancer mortality by 30%
  • Decreased heart disease mortality by 37%

What if you eat less than 7? Here is the results for the less fruit-veggie-crazed:

  • Eating 1-2 portions decreased all-cause mortality by 16%
  • Eating 3-4 portions decreased all-cause mortality by 29%
  • Eating 5-6 portions decreased all-cause mortality by 37%
  • Eating 7+ portions decreased all-cause mortality by 40%

The reason this result is more powerful than previous results is because the sample group is more representative of the general population. The number of people considered is huge. They follow a random sample of the “free-living” general population, rather than a local sample or a cohort based on occupation or disease status.

Here are some of the specifics of the experiment they ran:

  • 65,226 participants
  • All 35+ years old
  • Duration: 8 years

Its main strength is following a random sample of the free-living
general national population, rather than a local sample or a

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