An Apple a Day May Not Exactly Keep Doctor Away, New Study Says

By Mike Pomranz |

© ClassicStock/Corbis

Back before gluten-free and Paleo, the original fad diet for healthy living was handed down to us by our grandmothers: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, despite making a perfectly acceptable rhyme, a new study reveals that the old saying isn’t necessary sound health advice.

In a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, a team of researchers set out to determine if the old adage was true. They looked at 8,399 participants, of which 9 percent were found to “typically consume at least 1 small apple per day.” Initial analysis showed that apple eaters were less likely to visit the doctor; however, “After adjusting for sociodemographic and health-related characteristics,” the authors wrote, “the association was no longer statistically significant.” The study also found no differences in overnight hospital stays or mental health visits.

What researchers did find, though, was that apple eaters were “marginally more successful at avoiding prescription medications.” Thus, the team’s final conclusion: “Evidence does not support that an apple a day keeps the doctor away; however, the small fraction of US adults who eat an apple a day do appear to use fewer prescription medications.”

One small problem with that, though: “An apple a day appears to marginally reduce your use of prescription medications” doesn’t come anywhere close to rhyming. 

[h/t TIME

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