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Title: Food based dietary patterns and chronic disease prevention

item SCHULTZE, MATTHIAS - German Institute Of Human Nutrition
item MARTINEZ-GONZALEZ, MIGUEL - University Of Navarra
item FUNG, TERESA - Simmons College
item LICHTENSTEIN, ALICE - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item FOROUHI, NITA - University Of Cambridge

Submitted to: British Medical Journal
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2018
Publication Date: 6/13/2018
Citation: Schultze, M.B., Martinez-Gonzalez, M.A., Fung, T.T., Lichtenstein, A.H., Forouhi, N. 2018. Food based dietary patterns and chronic disease prevention. British Medical Journal.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Can specific foods, out of the thousands which are available in food markets, provide health benefits? Will adopting a specific food pattern(s), e.g. following dietary guidelines or a Mediterranean diet, prevent major chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer? Are exclusion diets, e.g. vegetarian or vegan diets or avoidance of foods containing gluten, lactose or fructose, the key for health? Should doctors advise patients to follow a hunter-gatherer diet? A large range of popular diet plans and concepts exist 1 and seem continuously to expand. However, the question remains to what extent their purported benefits are supported by scientific evidence. This review has two objectives: First, a qualitative assessment of evidence by the authors to summarize current understanding from recent systematic reviews of long-term studies on foods or dietary patterns and risk of major chronic diseases (cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes) which are informative for formulating dietary strategies for disease prevention. Secondly, given that nutrition research has sometimes been criticized for providing apparently implausible results 2 3, which might contribute to the range of different popular diet concepts, this review also aims to highlight methodological approaches and specific challenges of conducting research on food intake patterns and health.