Does Eating Fast Food Mean a Higher Risk of Diabetes, Heart Disease?

Living in this fast-paced world, eating fast food is a temptation few of us can ignore at one time or another.

People who have a habit of eating fast food on a regular basis are at greater risk of developing both heart disease and type 2 diabetes, according to new research published in the latest online edition of the journal Circulation.

Scientists from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in the U.S. and the National University of Singapore worked together to analyze data from a 16-year study, which was based on eating habits of 52,000 Chinese nationals living in Singapore. Each resident had experienced a sudden transition from traditional eastern foods to a Western-style fast food diet.

Fast food in Singapore.

The study “discovered that those who ate fast food two-three times a week were twice as likely to die from coronary heart disease (CHD) compared to those who avoided this type of food,” reports diabetes.co.uk, a British diabetes Web site.

The risk of death from CHD was 80 per cent higher in people who consumed fast food four or more times per week, while even eating out at fast food establishments just once a week was linked to a 20 per cent increased mortality risk.

In addition, the study found that consuming fast food items two or more times each week also increased the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 27 per cent.

Andrew Odegaard, post-doctoral researcher from the University of Minnesota and lead author of the study, said: “We wanted to examine the association of Western-style fast food with cardio-metabolic risk in a Chinese population in Southeast Asia that has become a hotbed for diabetes and heart disease .

“What we found was a dramatic public health impact by fast food, a product that is primarily a Western import into a completely new market.”

He added that results interestingly showed that the most frequent fast food eaters “were younger, better educated, smoked less and were more likely to be physically active”, which fitted the profile normally seen in a person “with lower cardio-metabolic risk.”

To read further on the subject of fast food, check out these posts:

Why should I avoid fast food? – Infographic

What are the long term effects of that fast food meal? – Infographic

Count sodium as well as calories at fast food outlets

Tips for healthy eating at fast food outlets

Test your fast food smarts – WebMD Quiz

What are the three worst fast food sandwiches?
Tony

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Filed under diabetes, fast food, healthy eating, life challenges

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