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‘Trendy’ diet followed by celebrities linked to 91% increase in dying from heart disease

‘Trendy’ diet followed by celebrities linked to 91% increase in dying from heart disease

Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry and Jennifer Lopez have all used this fasting method.

A scientific study has found that a fasting method used by the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Heidi Klum has been linked to an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

There are many popular approaches to the dieting trend and the likes of Elon Musk, Kourtney Kardashian and X-Men star Halle Berry have previously sung its praises.

Research claims those who abstain from eating for a long period of time could be putting their health at risk.

The diet in question: intermittent fasting.

What is intermittent fasting?

According to Mayo Clinic, intermittent fasting means you abstain from eating for extended periods each day or week.

Arguably, one of the most followed fasting schedules is the 16:8 diet, which has been lauded by High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens and FriendsJennifer Aniston.

Like it says on the tin, this diet restricts eating to eight hours per day and followers are expected to fast for the remaining 16 hours.

Interestingly, previous research into this type of time-restricted eating has found that it can improve dieters’ blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels.

According to Victor Wenze Zhong of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in Shanghai, China, the 16:8 diet is also a popular method of weight loss.

However, new evidence states that, while heart health could be improved, followers of the 16:8 diet could also be at risk of receiving a cardiovascular disease diagnosis.

The study

Chaired by Dr Zhong, a group of researchers at the American Heart Association have looked into the long-term health effects of eating on a restricted eight-hour schedule.

Results of the study claimed that those who fast for eight hours per day are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

The American Heart Association concluded results by studying around 20,000 US-based adults - half self-identified as men, while the others self-identified as women.

Each of these people’s eating habits was monitored for an average length of eight years.

After reviewing information about dietary patterns for participants in the annual 2003-2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), they compared figures to data about people who died in the US from 2003 through December 2019.

The results

What they discovered was that people who followed a pattern of eating all of their food for less than eight hours per day had a 91 percent higher risk of death due to cardiovascular disease.

The report claims that this increase was also seen in people living with heart disease or cancer and that time-restricted eating did not reduce the overall risk of death from any cause.

Furthermore, scientists deduced that people who eat for more than 16 hours per day could be associated with a ‘lower risk of cancer mortality among people with cancer.’

Speaking about the findings, Dr Zhong said: “We were surprised to find that people who followed an 8-hour, time-restricted eating schedule were more likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

“Even though this type of diet has been popular due to its potential short-term benefits, our research clearly shows that, compared with a typical eating time range of 12-16 hours per day, a shorter eating duration was not associated with living longer.”

He continued to say that while the study identified an association between an ‘8-hour eating window and cardiovascular death’ it didn’t mean that adhering to a time-restricted diet would cause cardiovascular death.

Following the findings, Christopher D. Gardner at Stanford University in Stanford, California said: “Overall, this study suggests that time-restricted eating may have short-term benefits but long-term adverse effects.

“When the study is presented in its entirety, it will be interesting and helpful to learn more of the details of the analysis.”

He added that additional information and further research into the 16:8 diet will help to ‘better understand the potential independent contribution of short time-restricted eating patterns’.

Featured Image Credit: Kseniya Ovchinnikova/lacaosa/Getty Images

Topics: Science, Health, Food and Drink, Celebrity