An apple a day will not only keep the doctor away but may also keep the pharmacist away! This is because apple eaters are likely to use less prescription medications, reveals a new study.
Matthew A. Davis of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and co-authors analysed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007-2008 and 2009-2010).
"Our findings suggest that the promotion of apple consumption may have limited benefit in reducing national healthcare spending," said Davis.
Of the 8,399 survey participants who completed a dietary recall questionnaire, 753 (9%) were apple eaters and 7,646 (91%) were non-apple eaters.
There was no statistically significant difference between apple eaters and non-apple eaters when it came to keeping the doctor away when socio-demographic and health-related characteristics were taken into account.
However, apple eaters had marginally higher odds of avoiding prescription medications, according to the results.
A prescription medication is a pharmaceutical drug that legally requires a medical prescription to be dispensed. In contrast, over-the-counter drugs can be obtained without a prescription.
The authors found no difference between apple eaters and non-apple eaters when measuring the likelihood of avoiding an overnight hospital stay or a visit to a mental health professional.
"In the age of evidence-based assertions, however, there may be merit to saying 'An apple a day keeps the pharmacist away," the study concluded.