Might as well just kill me now:
Scientists writing online in the journal Neurology analyzed the diets of more than 21,000 people nationwide. They found that people in eight stroke belt states — North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana — ate a three-ounce serving of fish an average of twice a week, roughly the same as people elsewhere. But they were 32 percent more likely to have that fish fried. Nationally, African-Americans ate more fish meals than whites, and twice as much fried fish.
The NYT storyalso contains this fascinating quote from the study’s author, Dr. Fadi Nahab of Emory University:
“The No. 1 thing [that leads to changes in stroke risk] is diet,” he said. “And yet when we look at dietary differences in and out of the stroke belt, it’s hard to find any other than this one.”
I’d suggest that Dr. Nahab must not have been in the South all that long if this is the primary dietary difference he’s identified between Southerners and those living in other parts of the country.
More seriously, the Emory press release says that people in the stroke belt eat “an average of 0.68 servings of fried fish per week, compared to 0.64 in the stroke buckle and 0.62 in the rest of the country.” For non-fried fish, the press release says that stroke belt residents averaged “1.45 servings per week, compared to 1.52 servings in the stroke buckle and 1.63 servings in the rest of the country.” Those are awfully small differences, so I’m not quite ready to stop eating fried catfish just yet (not that you can get it in the Bay Area anyway.)