Boston University researchers have reaffirmed the importance of healthy eating choices through a study that demonstrated how good eating habits deliver great long term weight loss benefits in African-American women.
Scientists from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University looked at African-American women who had eaten diets rich in fruits and vegetables over a 14-year period, and compared them to another group of females from the same racial background who instead ate a diet high in fried foods and red meat over the same time period.
The findings of this research were particularly revealing, since it was the first to show the specific link between eating a healthy diet and weight loss in this demographic group. African-Americans have a significantly higher incidence of obesity than is found in other racial groups.
The data that BU researchers examined came from the Black Women’s Health Study, made up of over 59,000 subjects and conducted since 1995.
Subjects were asked about their diet when the study started in 1995, and again six years later. Results showed that the women could be divided into two groups: those who ate a diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, and a second whose diet was primarily red meat, French fries, fried chicken and processed meat.
The fruit and vegetable-eaters gained significantly less weight over the duration of the study. This was especially true for women whose eating patterns remained consistent from year to year.
Dr. Deborah Boggs, lead author and researcher, says that people have a tendency to eat a consistent amount of food over time, as opposed to a consistent amount of calories. Fruits and vegetables contain fewer calories, so it stands to reason that people who primarily eat them ultimately gain less weight.