A study at the University of Cape Town’s Gerontology Centre examined the diets and heart disease risk of older colored (mixed descent) South Africans. A random sample of 200 subjects aged 65 years and above in Cape Town was interviewed to obtain nutrition and life-style data, and blood samples were taken to examine markers for heart disease risk. Blood pressure was also measured according to the guidelines of the American Heart Association. Caloric intake, on average, was low, as was total fat intake. Heart disease risk was low-to-moderate, but high blood pressure was common. This population has lowered their consumption of fruit and vegetables, resulting in a low ﬁber intake — very diﬀerent from Africa’s traditional ﬁber-loaded diets. The survey ﬁndings indicate a need to encourage increased physical activity levels and an increased consumption of foods including vegetables, fruit, and whole grain cereals in this population.
East African Medical Journal. 1997 Aug;74(8):478-86. (Charlton et al.)