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J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 Nov;112(11):1852-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.06.357. Epub 2012 Sep 18.

The cardiovascular health of urban African Americans: diet-related results from the Genes, Nutrition, Exercise, Wellness, and Spiritual Growth (GoodNEWS) trial.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Nutrition, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390-8877, USA.


African Americans have a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) than Americans in general and are thus prime targets for efforts to reduce CVD risk. Dietary intake data were obtained from African Americans participating in the Genes, Nutrition, Exercise, Wellness, and Spiritual Growth (GoodNEWS) Trial. The 286 women and 75 men who participated had a mean age of 49 years; 53% had hypertension, 65% had dyslipidemia, and 51% met criteria for metabolic syndrome. Their dietary intakes were compared with American Heart Association and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute nutrition parameters to identify areas for improvement to reduce CVD risk in this group of urban church members in Dallas, TX. Results from administration of the Dietary History Questionnaire indicated median daily intakes of 33.6% of energy from total fat, 10.3% of energy from saturated fat, 171 mg cholesterol, 16.3 g dietary fiber, and 2,453 mg sodium. A beneficial median intake of 2.9 cups fruits and vegetables per day was coupled with only 2.7 oz fish/week and an excessive intake of 13 tsp added sugar/day. These data indicate several changes needed to bring the diets of these individuals--and likely many other urban African Americans--in line with national recommendations, including reduction of saturated fat, sodium, and sugar intake, in addition to increased intake of fatty fish and whole grains. The frequent inclusion of vegetables should be encouraged in ways that promote achievement of recommended intakes of energy, fat, fiber, and sodium.


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