Study says 'everything in moderation' may be bad dietary advice
Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University say that old adage about "eat everything in moderation" may actually be poor dietary advice.
Relying on data from 6,814 blacks, whites, Chinese-Americans and Hispanic-Americans in the United States, the team used various factors to account for diversity in diet.
Those factors included the number of different foods consumed during a week, the calorie distribution spanning such foods and what the researchers termed "dissimilarity"—various food qualities' impact on metabolic health.
Researchers then measured those factors against changes in waist circumference after five years and the appearance of Type 2 diabetes after 10 years.
According to a news release, "When evaluating both food count and evenness, no associations were seen with either increase in waist circumference or incidence of diabetes. In other words, more diversity in the diet was not linked to better outcomes. Participants who had the greatest food dissimilarity actually experienced more central weight gain, with a 120 percent greater increase in waist circumference than participants with the lowest food dissimilarity."
Researchers also found that people with dissimilar diets had lower diet quality overall—eating less fruits and vegetables while consuming more sodas, sweets and processed meats.
Dariush Mozaffarian, one of the study's authors, said, "These results suggest that in modern diets, eating 'everything in moderation' is actually worse than eating a smaller number of healthy foods."