Published: Sat, January 26, 2019
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Eating fried chicken= 13% higher risk of death

Eating fried chicken= 13% higher risk of death

The researchers found no evidence linking fried food to an increased risk of cancer death, and the study did not prove a cause-and-effect link between fried foods and early death.

Daily fried chicken was associated with a 13% higher risk of death from any cause, and a 12% higher risk of death from a heart-related problem compared to no fried food.

Several cohort studies in United States populations have found that higher consumption of fried foods was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, they write, but a study in a Mediterranean population found no association between fried food consumption and coronary heart disease.

Almost 107,000 women between ages 50 and 79 were quizzed on their diets and other health problems. These women enrolled in the program between September 1993 to 1998 and were periodically observed as the years went by. However, this finding was not statistically significant, the study added. Bao reportedly said this could be because most snack foods are fried more lightly than animal proteins.

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).

Speaking about it, lead author of the study Wei Bao said, We know fried food consumption is something very common in the United States and also around the world.

There is much in the study that Bao and his team could not test for, so this study cannot be generalized to all fried food everywhere. One possibility is that these foods could be ultraprocessed, according to the authors, meaning they may be high in sodium, which could contribute to a higher risk of mortality.

Fully 33% of participants who ate 1 or more fried meals per week were obese, as were 44% of the patients who consumed more than 1 fried food meal per day, Dr. Mintz noted.

This is an observational study which only considers women in the U.S., so may not be applicable more widely, emphasise the researchers.

The findings, published in The BMJ, showed that after taking into account other potentially influential factors such as lifestyle and overall diet quality, regularly eating fried foods was associated with a higher risk of death from any cause, and, in particular with heart-related death.

The American Heart Association has more about a heart-healthy diet. Past research has connected French fries to cancer and a higher mortality risk.

And they say that the presence of "unidentified confounders is still possible", so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause. "But the good news is using healthier cooking methods at home like baking, grilling or roasting and choosing healthier options while eating out are simple changes that can make a big difference to your heart health", said Parker, who was not involved in the research.

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