Diabetes : Fast Food Boosts Diabetes and Heart Disease Risk

Jeff Strickler, Star Tribune, Minneapolis

Researchers at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, working in conjunction with their counterparts at the National University of Singapore, found that Singapore residents who switched to a Western-style diet that's heavy on fast food radically increased their chances of developing heart problems and diabetes.

The study, which was published July 2 in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, found that the people who ate fast food once a week increased their risk of fatal heart disease by 20 percent. Eating it two or three times a week raised the risk by 50 percent, and the increase hit nearly 80 percent for people who chowed down on fast food four or more times a week.

Eating fast food two or more times a week also increased the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 27 percent.

"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," said researcher Andrew Odegaard.

Before you say, "Too bad for them, but that's not my problem" and reach for another French fry, better listen to fellow researcher Mark Pereira: "The foods we studied in Singapore were of the Western/American variety, and the studies on similar foods and restaurant items in the U.S. suggest you would expect a similar effect on health in the United States."

In other words, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

(c)2012 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

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