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Diabetics warned over fast food

06 July 2012 09:45

Fast-food diets increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease

Fast-food diets increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease

A new study suggests that people who eat fast food regularly are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and more likely to suffer from heart disease.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health worked with scientists from the National University of Singapore and together analysed data collected over 16 years based on 52,000 Chinese nationals eating habits while living in Singapore.

While all had seen their diet change from traditional eastern foods to more western fast foods, some ate the latter more often than others. Consuming fast food two to three times weekly doubled risk of death from coronary heart disease (CHD), when contrasted to avoiding these unhealthy foods.

Risk of a CHD-related death rocketed to 80 per cent higher among people eating fast food at least four times each week. Type 2 diabetes risk also increased by 27% if people ate fast food twice or more per week.

As well as these obvious health risks, diabetes sufferers' quality of life can suffer and they also need pre-existing medical travel insurance.

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."