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Adoption of English Diet Could Reduce U.K. Mortality

Last Updated: November 04, 2011.

Following a diet with nutritional quality equivalent to the English diet would substantially reduce mortality in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, according to a study published online Nov. 2 in BMJ Open.

FRIDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Following a diet with nutritional quality equivalent to the English diet would substantially reduce mortality in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, according to a study published online Nov. 2 in BMJ Open.

Peter Scarborough, D.Phil., from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues investigated the number of deaths that could be prevented if Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland adopted a diet with nutritional quality equivalent to the English diet. The mortality gap between England and other countries in the United Kingdom was assessed using mortality data for 2007 to 2009 for coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and 10 diet-related cancers. A macrosimulation model was used, which incorporated estimates of mean national consumption of 10 dietary factors.

The investigators found that, in the modeled scenario, the mortality gap was reduced by 81 percent for Wales and Northern Ireland and 40 percent for Scotland. This would equate to about 3,700 deaths being delayed or prevented each year. The mortality gap was reduced by 88 percent for Wales and Northern Ireland, and 58 percent for Scotland for CHD alone.

"Improving the average diet in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to a level already achieved in England could have a substantial impact on reducing geographical variations in chronic disease mortality rates in the United Kingdom," the authors write.

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