Obesity has become a problem that many in the United States say has become an epidemic. The number of individuals who are significantly overweight has grown exponentially, causing many to call for improved efforts to address the situation.
Some health experts say that a diet rich in antioxidants, similar to what is commonly known as the Mediterranean diet, may provide heart health benefits that could lessen the burden of the growing obesity epidemic on nation’s healthcare system.
"All research suggests that the healthiest diet is the traditional Mediterranean diet," Tricia M. Sinek, manager of the Community Cancer Program at the Franciscan Health System in Washington, told the Tacoma News Tribune.
"Every state in the United States reports that 30 percent of their population is obese."
She added that she recommends this diet — which is rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts and fish — to patients who are concerned about their weight or who have gained an unhealthy amount of fat.
Studies from the U.S. Agriculture Research Service have shown that carotenoids — a type of antioxidant commonly found in plants associated with the Mediterranean diet — may play a significant role in heart health.