Written by Williams ABAH

Fried food linked to heightened risk of early death

Regularly eating fried food is linked with a heightened risk of death from any cause and heart-related death, among postmenopausal women, finds a US study in The BMJ today.

Foods such as fried chicken and fried fish/shellfish were associated with a higher risk of heart-related death, particularly among younger women in the study (aged 50-65 years old).

The researchers suggest that reducing consumption of fried foods, especially fried chicken and fried fish/shellfish, could have a positive public health impact.

Up to a third of North American adults have fast-food every day, and previous studies have suggested that a greater intake of fried food is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

But evidence about the risk of death linked with eating fried foods is limited and subject to much debate.

So to address this, US researchers investigated the association of eating fried food with death from any cause, and in particular heart and cancer-related death.

They used questionnaire data to assess the diets of 106,966 women, aged 50 to 79, who enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) between 1993-1998 and who were followed up to February 2017.

During this time, 31,588 deaths occurred, including 9,320 heart-related deaths 8,358 cancer deaths and 13,880 from other causes.

The researchers looked at the women's total and specific consumption of different fried foods, including: "fried chicken"; "fried fish, fish sandwich and fried shellfish (shrimp and oysters)"; and other fried foods, such as french fries, tortilla chips and tacos.

After taking account of potentially influential factors such as lifestyle, overall diet quality, education level and income, the researchers found that regularly eating fried foods was associated with a heightened risk of death from any cause and, specifically, heart-related death: those who ate one or more servings a day had an 8% higher risk compared with those who did not eat fried food.

 

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