It shouldn’t come as a surprise that eating healthy food leads people away from diseases. A recent study confirmed this, stating further that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in teenagers.
These two diseases are included in a cluster of other health risks collectively known as metabolic syndrome. The researchers of the study, which included Dr. Mark DeBoer of the University of Virginia, used data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2012. More than 5,000 adolescents from age 12 to 19 took part in the survey.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, revealed favorable results in terms of lowering the effects of metabolic syndrome. The changes were most evident in the reduction of triglycerides and the increase in good cholesterol (HDL).
“While we don’t know for sure why these improvements occurred, we saw that over time, children have eaten healthier diets, eating fewer calories overall, less carbohydrates and more food with unsaturated fat… This supports the important idea that changes to your lifestyle choices are the key to improving cardiovascular risk status,” said DeBoer in a news report.
In addition, intake of calories and carbohydrates by teens were noticeably decreasing. Part of the reason behind this is that teens are now eating plant-based foods rich in unsaturated fats. “Our hope is that if these dietary trends continue, that there will eventually be a reversal of obesity as well,” DeBoer mentioned.