Major Health Study Includes Local Women

Ellen Quirk was one of about 11-hundred local women who took part in a national study to see if low-fat diet's effect on disease prevention.
" We were encouraged to eat six fruits and vegetables, to eat grains and fish, meat, low fat meats."
Unfortunately, going on a strict low fat diet didn't prove to substantially ward off diseases like breast cancer, colo-rectal cancer and heart disease.
Robert Brunner studied local women involved in the Women's Health Initiative.
"They are diseases that we believed from observational studies from case control studies would be responsive to dietary intervention."
Dr. Brunner was one of several researchers and centers that tracked nearly 50-thousand older women for about eight years. Almost half the women ate low-fat diets high in fruits, vegetables, and grains. The rest ate their usual diets.
Dr. Brunner says the study was an intensive one especially for the women involved. "At least once a year, visits, they filled out numerous questionnaires that we are going to evaluate in the future."
Dr. Brunner says the brightest spot in the study there was some reduction in breast cancer among women on the low fat diet. He says he's disappointed the same can't be said for colo-rectal cancer and heart disease.
But he believes a continued examination of these women over time as they continue their low fat intake may ultimately show other health benefits.


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