SOCY 230 Paper 1

Submitted By kbillingsley
Words: 1022
Pages: 5

Kwon Billingsley
SOCY 230
Paper 1
Mediterranean Diet & Heart Disease

The Mediterranean diet’s principal aspects include proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, and low consumption of meat products. It’s also a well kwon weapon in the fight against hear disease according to CNN. Researchers led by Dr. Ramon Estruch followed participants to track rates of heart attack, stroke and heart disease related death for a total of five years. The group that showed the least heart problems and lowest rate of heart disease death was the Mediterranean diet high in extra-virgin olive oil and coming in a close second were the group who ate a Mediterranean diet high in nuts. Those on the extra-virgin olive oil group showed a 30% lower risk if having a heart attack, stroke or dying of heart disease, while the diet with more nuts showed a 28% lower risk of these outcomes compared to the low-fat diet group. Participants in the study agreed to replace red meat with white meat and consume three of more servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables a day. The olive oil group consumed more than four tablespoons of the oil a day and the nut group consumed 30 grams of nuts a day. The low fat diet group ate three or more servings of seafood a week and the same amount of fruits and vegetables as the Mediterranean group while discouraged to use more than two tablespoons of oil a day. Estruch says that since the three groups were randomly assigned factors such as the amount of exercise the participants did, or the medication they took would be about the same for each group. Previous studies have linked the diets to fewer heart attacks, but most were correlated with heart disease rather than randomly assigning participants and then following them for heart disease risks that this study did. When performing research such as testing the effectiveness of a diet there are several limitations and factors that can contribute to the impact of the results. For instance individuals who volunteer for an experiment such as this and remain in the research study for five years are most likely to have a stronger desire to stay healthy or become a healthier person than anyone else using the diet in a non-research environment. They would also be more disciplined in their eating habits and exercise activities. The way the participants use to eat before the start of the research also plays an important role in the disease reduction. If for example the participant were eating fatty foods on a regular basis then of course their risk of disease will greatly decrease after starting a new healthier diet. Physical activity and exercise could have possibly had a bigger impact on the reduction in disease rather than the olive oil or nuts itself. Also, the statement about since the groups were randomly assigned the exercise and medication for each group would be about the same doesn’t really make sense. A random assignment doesn’t impact the amount of exercise one gets or medication one takes. Therefore, how could one assume the exercises were about the same and what exactly does “about the same” really mean in exact terms? Also, the type of medication that the participants use isn’t specified in the article, which could also play a role in the heart disease reduction. Extra virgin olive oil is considered heart-healthy because it’s rich in polyphenols. At the same time all plant foods are rich in polyphenols, and many deliver far more polyphenols than olive oil such as the increase in consumptions of fruits and vegetables the participants consumed. Race and gender play an important role in the factors that impact the reduction results. Heart diseases are more prevalent in African Americans and men in general. Finally, with a research done for five years one would…