A team of researchers wanted to test the well-known proverb “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. So does it? Results say no. It seems people who consume apples daily go to the doctor just as frequent as those who eat fewer apples or none at all.
The research paper was published on Monday March 30 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The study’s sole purpose was to prove that eating apples won’t necessarily make you healthy, not that these fruits are bad for you. It just means that there is more to leading a healthy life than eating apples.
The study found that one third of participants had one medical visit in the year 2014. The rest declared they had gone to the doctor at least two times in the previous year. An initial analysis found that apple eaters went less frequent to the doctor in comparison to those who don’t eat apples but after the team took into consideration weight, race, education, health insurance and other factors that could affect the frequency of medical visits, that difference disappeared.
The study consisted of going through data regarding 8,400 U.S. adult citizens who participated in a government survey between 2007 – 2008 and 2009 – 2010.
All participants answered a set of questions regarding the type of food they had eaten in the last 24 hours and any medical care requested in the past year.
Approximately 9 percent of participants ate at least one small apple daily. The study found apple eaters had were better educated, were less likely to consume tobacco and only a small percent were of Caucasian race.
The study did have some limitations as the food eaten in the last 24 hours doesn’t always reflect the person’s usual diet. The study was considered insufficiently rigorous in order to truly determine whether people who ate apples were healthier than those who didn’t. The research also failed to mention the motive behind the doctor visits.
According to Matthew Davis, health services researcher at the University of Michigan, in order to disprove the well-known apple proverb, one “would need a different study design.”
So, don’t ignore these fruits. Apples are good source of vitamin C. One medium apple has approximately 100 calories and makes up for 20 percent of the daily recommended dose of fiber.
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