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Preventing heart disease and stroke: do women have to diet?

Arnold Barfield (Consultant based in Kew, Richmond, UK.)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 1 August 1995



The question is: should women be encouraged to reduce dietary fats – especially saturated fats – as a measure to prevent cardiovascular disease (i.e. heart disease plus stroke)? Presents evidence to support the conclusion that enhanced levels of blood cholesterol do not indicate enhanced risk of cardiovascular disease in women. Similar evidence supports the conclusion that enhanced blood cholesterol levels do not indicate enhanced risk of all‐cause death, i.e. they do not indicate reduced life expectancy. Hence there is no rational basis for adopting a diet designed to reduce cholesterol, e.g. one based on reduced consumption of saturated fat. These conclusions illustrate the undesirability of pursuing measures to reduce a single disease – in this case coronary heart disease – in isolation from consideration of risk relations for other ailments and for overall health.



Barfield, A. (1995), "Preventing heart disease and stroke: do women have to diet?", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 95 No. 4, pp. 34-36.




Copyright © 1995, MCB UP Limited

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