Your race, age, and where you live may influence what you eat, for better and for worse.
A new study shows most American diets fall into one of five major patterns:
• Southern: Fried, processed meats and sugar-sweetened beverages
• Traditional: Chinese and Mexican food, pasta dishes, pizza, soup, and other mixed dishes including frozen or take-out meals
• Healthy: Mostly fruits, vegetables, and grains
• Sweets: Large amounts of sweet snacks and desserts
• Alcohol: Proteins, alcohol, and salads
Researchers say those differences in dietary patterns may help explain regional and racial differences in the risk of stroke, heart disease, and other major chronic diseases.
“We believe focusing research on dietary patterns better represents how people eat, compared to single foods or nutrients,” says researcher Suzanne Judd, PhD, an assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, in a news release. “We hope that understanding these patterns will be informative in understanding the role of diet in health and disease disparities.”