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February 16, 1963

MEDICAL NEWS

JAMA. 1963;183(7):35-46. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700070003002

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Abstract

This Group Thrives on Starches  In Pennsylvania's Northampton County, some 14 miles north of Easton, lies the borough of Roseto, currently attracting the attention of epidemiological researchers.Most of the borough's 1,676 inhabitants are grossly overweight, to the point that a 300-pounder attracts no attention.Yet the death rate from coronary heart disease is quite low, about one third the national average.Founded 72 years ago by immigrants from Roseto, Italy, the borough became a close-knit community. Today's residents, 97% of them of Italian descent, continue to relish the traditional Italian diet of starchy dishes, rich sauces, and ample meats.When a research team from the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine headed by Dr. Stewart G. Wolf examined 388 Roseto residents ranging in age from 21 to 88—all of them overweight and many obese— not a single instance of demonstrable cardiovascular disease was found.The chief reason, in

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