Western pattern diet
The Western pattern diet, also called Western dietary pattern or the meat-sweet diet, is a dietary habit chosen by many people in some developed countries, and increasingly in developing countries. It is characterized by high intakes of red meat, sugary desserts, high-fat foods, and refined grains. It also typically contains high-fat dairy products, high-sugar drinks, and higher intakes of processed meat.
The western-versus-eastern dichotomy has become less relevant as such a diet is no longer "foreign" to any global region (just as traditional East Asian cuisine is no longer "foreign" to the west), but the term is still a well-understood shorthand in medical literature, regardless of where the diet is found. It is often contrasted with a "prudent" diet, which has higher levels of fruits, vegetables, whole-grain foods, poultry and fish. Other dietary patterns described in the medical research include "drinker" and "meat-eater" patterns. Because of the variability in diets, individuals are usually classified not as simply "following" or "not following" a given diet, but instead by ranking them according to how closely their diets line up with each pattern in turn. The researchers then compare the outcomes between the group that most closely follows a given pattern to the group that least closely follows a given pattern.
Standard American Diet
The "Standard American Diet" (S.A.D.) is a similar term, specifically used to describe the stereotypical diet of Americans. The typical American diet is about 50% carbohydrate, 15% protein, and 35% fat, which is over the dietary guidelines for the amount of fat (below 30%), below the guidelines for carbohydrate (above 55%), and at the upper end of the guidelines for the amount of protein (below 15%) recommended in the diet.
The quality of the carbohydrate, protein, and fat is at least as important as the quantity. Complex carbohydrates such as starch are believed to be more healthy than the sugar so frequently consumed in the Standard American Diet.
The Standard American Diet is high in saturated fat, but it is estimated that for every 1% of saturated fat energy that is replaced with polyunsaturated fat there would be more than a 2-3% reduction in coronary heart disease incidence And even for polyunsaturated fat, the high levels of omega-6 fatty acids compared to omega-3 fatty acids in the Western diet is believed to contribute to autoimmune and inflammatory diseases as well as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
A review of eating habits in the United States in 2004 found that about 75% of restaurant meals were from fast-food restaurants, where as only 1% were fine food dining restaurants. Nearly half of the meals ordered from a menu were hamburger, French fries, or poultry — and about one third of orders included a carbonated beverage drink. From 1970 to 2008, the per capita consumption of calories increased by nearly one-quarter in the United States and about 10% of all calories were from high-fructose corn syrup.
Compared to the "prudent" diet, the Western pattern diet, based on epidemiological studies of Westerners, is positively correlated with an elevated incidence of obesity, death from heart disease, cancer (especially colon cancer), and other "Western pattern diet"-related diseases. Breast cancer epidemiologists have identified a "Western/Unhealthy" dietary pattern that is high in red/processed meats, refined grains, potatoes, sweets, and high-fat dairy by means of multivariate statistics methods, like principal components analysis and factor analysis; they find that, overall, women with a more Western diet have an increased risk of breast cancer that is not statistically significant.
- European cuisine (also called Western cuisine)
- Fast food
- Healthy diet
- Junk food
- Mediterranean diet
- Metabolic syndrome
- Nutritional gatekeeper
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