The old adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” has been put to the test by Davis et al. in a recently published cross-sectional study. The authors studied over 8,000 US adults, comparing those who ate “an apple a day” (based on a dietary recall questionnaire), with those who did not, on the primary outcome of “keeping the doctor away” – no more than one self-reported visit to a physician in the previous year.
The study identified 753 adults who ate at least one apple a day, and, compared to non-apple eaters, they had higher levels of education, were less likely to smoke, and were more likely to be from a racial or ethnic minority (P<0.001). However, after adjusting for socio-demographic and health-related characteristics, there was no statistically significant difference in physician visits (OR 1.19, 0.93-1.53, P=0.15); though they did appear to use fewer prescription medicines (OR 1.27, 1.00-1.63). So maybe we should start using “an apple a day keeps the pharmacist away”?
— Peter Chilton, Research Fellow
- Davis MA, Bynum JPW, Sirovich BE. Association Between Apple Consumption and Physician Visits Appealing the Conventional Wisdom That an Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away. JAMA Intern Med. 2015. [ePub].