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What if Americans Ate Like South Africans and Vice Versa?



Potjiekos, a stew (Borisgorelik/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Potjiekos, a stew (Borisgorelik/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Maanvi Singh, NPR

(NPR.com) — They switched diets.

Twenty South Africans gave up their corn porridge and vegetable stews for burgers and fries.

And 20 Pittsburghians sacrificed fast food staples for the low-fat, high-fiber fare that South Africans traditionally eat.

Dr. Stephen O’Keefe, a professor of nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, was eager to find out what would happen next. O’Keefe knew that South Africans tend to have much lower rates of colon cancer than Americans. And he wanted to find out if food might be a factor.

So he came up with an idea: What if a group of volunteers from South Africa and from Pittsburgh swapped diets for two weeks?




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