How Many Doctors Kept Away?


This year, the Journal of the American Medical Association had some fun for April Fool’s with “Association Between Apple Consumption and Physician Visits.”

It turns out that apples don’t keep doctors away, but they do seem to cut down on trips to the pharmacist! This isn’t the first study to suggest that fiber-rich foods promote health — the effect is strong enough to justify some programs where physicians actually write prescriptions for fruits and vegetables.

JAMA is normally published on Tuesday, so its April Fool’s claim is a bit of a stretch, but the British Medical Journal routinely has some fun in its December issue, with lighthearted studies similar to this one, essays from physicians sharing funny personal stories, and some frank parody. BMJ has even addressed the apples issue, comparing them (favorably) to statins in reducing mortality. (Could oranges be next?) Maybe JAMA will keep it up!

Image: Cartoonist B. Kliban had an optimistic view of the efficacy of apples.

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