JAMA's funny study: An apple a day does not keep the doctor away

The proverb "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," which dates back to the 1860s, was originally "Eat an apple on going to bed, and you'll keep the doctor from earning his bread," according to The Washington Post. The saying later became, "An apple a day, no doctor to pay," and then "An apple sends the doctor away."

Now it seems the proverb is ready to be revamped yet again.

A recent study published in the April Fool's issue of JAMA reports some results that are not so funny for apple eaters: Researchers found no statistical significance linking daily apple eaters to less frequent visits to the physician's office or other healthcare services.

Researchers examined more than 8,300 people, among which 753 regularly ate at least one small apple each day. They found apple eaters tended to be more educated, less likely to smoke and more likely to be of a racial or ethnic minority, but no less likely to see the physician, according to the study.

Apple eaters were slightly more successful in avoiding prescription medications as well, suggesting the proverb should say, "An apple a day keeps the pharmacist away."


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