Fruits and Veggies Beat Up Lung Disease Risk

Surprise-surprise, a diet rich in fruits and veggies helps prevent lung disease. Let’s hear it, a big collective—duh! Even though we all know it, it’s still worth a read. Steven Reinberg of HealthDay News reports:
People who follow a "Mediterranean" diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains and fish cut their risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by half, researchers report.

COPD, a lethal combination of emphysema and bronchitis, is expected to become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2020.

Smoking remains the primary cause of COPD, according to the report in the May 14 online edition of the journal Thorax.

Therefore, "The first message is that people have to stop smoking," said lead researcher Dr. Raphaelle Varraso, from INSERM, Villejuif, France. "And then, that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fish may help to reduce risk of COPD."

And, if healthy food can cut the odds for COPD, unhealthy eating could do the opposite, he said. "In smokers and ex-smokers, a diet rich in refined grains, cured and red meats, desserts and French fries may increase the risk of COPD," Varraso said.

His group collected data on almost 43,000 men who took part in the U.S. Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which started in 1986. The study included more than 50,000 U.S. health care professionals ages 40 to 75.

Every two years, the men were asked about their lifestyle, including smoking and exercise, diet and medical history. Detailed diet information was gathered every four years.