A healthy diet low in red meat and rich in whole grains may reduce the risk of developing the chronic lung disease COPD.

The finding that a healthy diet was independently related to lower COPD risk appeared to hold up even after accounting for other factors, including smoking history, age, race, exercise habits and being overweight.

Nevertheless, Raphaelle Varraso cautioned against concluding that diet has a direct impact on COPD risk, given that the study participants were medical professionals with a presumably greater focus on health and healthy behavior than the general public. However, the findings underscore the need for more research into how eating patterns affect lung health, Varraso suggested.