Mediterranean Diet Wins Again...

Shani Christensen

Article Summary

Morgan Manella, CNN.com, 3/28/2016

The Mediterranean diet may now have the added benefit of being good for bones after a study published online by JAMA Internal Medicine according to Morgan Manella of CNN. The article states that a population of 90,014 postmenopausal women from 40 clinical centers in the United States, with an average age of 64 years, were asked to complete a Women’s Health Initiative study that involved gathering data about the participants’ diet patterns through food frequency questionnaires. Those questionnaires were then compared by researchers to common healthy diets such as the Mediterranean diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, as well as two other diets that were unnamed. The study spanned approximately16 years; at the end of the study, the results showed that out of 28,718 total fractures, 2,121 were hip fractures. The women who took part in the Mediterranean diet were .29% less likely to experience hip fractures than other women who did not adhere to the diet. The author, Morgan Manella, concluded from the results of this study that selecting a healthy diet, mainly the Mediterranean diet, may contribute to bone health maintenance in postmenopausal women.

Article Critique

The title of the article “Mediterranean Diet Wins Again, Helps Bones” is certainly an attention grabber. Anyone who is searching for any information about how to keep bones healthy and strong aside from taking supplements would be remiss to click past this article—or so it seems. At the beginning of the article, the author states that a new study was just released online by JAMA Internal Medicine that examined the effects of diet quality on bone health in postmenopausal women from 40 clinical sites across the United States. So, in and of itself, the title leads one to believe that the Mediterranean diet can help everyone’s bones. There is nothing in the title that is directed toward a certain demographic. In fact, it is inviting all who are curious and concerned about bone health to scroll through to gather some valuable information. As one soon discovers, the article only discusses a research study conducted on postmenopausal women, excluding men and premenopausal women who may have been interested in details of the Mediterranean diet and bone health. It is safe to assume that the diet may help bones in all demographics but that is not addressed in this article. The data that has been analyzed from the study states that of the four diet plans studied from all the patients over the 16 year span that the patients participated, out of the 28,718 total fractures that occurred, 2,121 of those were hip fractures. Then it is reported that of the women who stuck with the Mediterranean diet, less than one percent of them suffered from hip fractures. Does that mean that they suffered from other fractures? Did they suffer from any fractures? The data is very confusing. However, it is mentioned that a healthy diet plan alone is not just good for bone health but combining it with physical exercise is key to optimum bone health. The article is based on scientific evidence; the study was conducted by a group of public health physicians and published in the well-known medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The sponsor of this article is CNN, a news and information website, which covers a wide variety of topics from national news to health to entertainment. It has had some credibility issues in the past, but CNN is a widely known and respected source of news and information. As for the author of this article, Morgan Manella, she is a multimedia journalist who is an Emory University undergraduate currently interning with CNN and does not carry any nutrition, health, or medical related credentials (http://www.morganmanella.com). It seems that what she has done is researched a topic for an assignment and regurgitated information from another source to fill an open spot on the website. I believe as whole that the information provided in this article as well as the source and author are valid but I think that it could have been more thorough for the patient who is searching for ways to improve his or her well being.