Study Stirs Debate about Low-Fat Diet and Reduction in Disease Risk

International Journal of Humanities and Peace, Annual 2006 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Study Stirs Debate about Low-Fat Diet and Reduction in Disease Risk


At one time or another, you've no doubt heard that eating a diet low in fat can help protect you against everything from cancer to heart disease. But according to headlines earlier this year, a low-fat diet doesn't significantly reduce a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, colorectal cancer or cardiovascular disease.

These headlines were based on the findings of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Dietary Modification Trial, which were published in the Feb. 8, 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Study specifics

The WHI study, which followed nearly 49,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79 for about eight years, compared women eating a typical American diet with women eating a diet low in fat and high in fruits and vegetables. Its specific goal was to test whether cutting total dietary fat to 20 percent of calories would reduce a postmenopausal woman's risk of breast cancer.

At the end of the trial period, the women in the low-fat-diet group didn't achieve a statistically significant reduction in the risk of invasive breast cancer, when compared with the other group. Two other studies using data from the dietary trial were published in the same issue of JAMA. They found that eating a low-fat diet didn't reduce the risk of colorectal cancer or cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women.

Not all fats are created equal

Despite these findings, experts say the public shouldn't conclude that diet isn't important to your well-being -or that there's no need to watch your fat intake. What's their argument? For one thing, the WHI study didn't differentiate between good and bad fats. For another, most of the women assigned to the low-fat-diet group didn't achieve the goals of the eating plan and didn't lose weight.

In recent years, more knowledge has been gained about how different fats might impact disease development.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Study Stirs Debate about Low-Fat Diet and Reduction in Disease Risk
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?