In addition to consuming oversize portions that quickly exceed a prudent calorie intake, eating too much fast food appears to dramatically raise the risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. New research from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health suggests that indulging in just one fast food meal per week increases the risk of dying from coronary heart disease by 20 percent compared to those who abstain. Eat fast food four or more times a week and the risk soars to 80 percent compared to those who don’t yield to the temptation of fat and salt.
Interestingly, those statistics come from Chinese residents of Singapore, which the Minnesota team described as “a hotbed for diabetes and heart disease.” The investigators examined data collected over 16 years beginning in 1993 and followed the eating habits of 52,000 individuals.
Another surprise: the study participants who reported eating the most fast food were younger, better educated, smoked less and were more likely to be physically active – a profile the researchers noted is normally associated with lower cardio-metabolic risk