Researchers from the University of Utah have discovered how to identify a person’s dietary patterns using their hair.
The researchers collected old hair from barbers and hair salons in 65 US cities, hair from 684 people was used in the study.
They analyzed differences between carbon isotopes found in hair and those found in food products.
The study discovered that meat and dairy make up 57% of US diets on average.
Existing research shows that those who have diets rich in animal-derived protein are at a greater risk of heart disease.
The data also showed that the consumption of animal protein was higher in poor areas of the US.
Animal protein makes up 75% of the diets of people in these areas.
The researchers found a correlation between obesity rates and people who eat a high percentage of protein.
This new tool for measuring dietary patterns could be used to identify regional, and national health risks.
The measurement can be used to understand dietary choices among different age groups and different socioeconomic groups, James Ehleringer, Lead Author of the Study