Fire/emergency medical services Worker health and wellness

Volunteer firefighters association seeks participants for nutrition study

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Greenbelt, MD – Seeking to promote healthier eating habits among volunteer firefighters, emergency responders and their families, the National Volunteer Fire Council is collaborating on a study with researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The voluntary program, open to NVFC members and their significant others, will offer a diverse set of online tools and strategies to help participants eat and feel better through nutrition and lifestyle changes, a July 7 NVFC press release states. The year-long study is expected to include as many as 10,000 participants, who will be asked to complete an online questionnaire every three months during the study period.

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health states that the program’s diet, the Mediterranean Diet, involves “high consumption of olive oil, fruits, vegetables, unrefined (whole grain) breads and cereals, beans, and nuts; moderate consumption of eggs and lean meats (e.g., fish, chicken and turkey); a relatively low intake of dairy products; and lower consumption of red meat, processed meat and sweets.”

Studies show the Mediterranean Diet decreases the risks of heart disease, cancers and other chronic diseases. Researchers said the purpose of the study is to “show whether the Mediterranean Diet can be introduced through a workplace program among persons living in a country outside of the Mediterranean Sea region.”

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