Wednesday November 20, 2019

Heart Attack Cases Higher in Areas with More Fast Food Outlets: Researchers

“The ubiquitous presence of fast food is an important consideration for the ongoing development of rural and metropolitan areas,” he said

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While it is known that eating fast food is not good for health, researchers, including one of an Indian-origin, have found that areas with a higher number of fast food outlets record more heart attack cases.

Published in the European Heart Journal, the findings also showed that for every additional fast food outlet, there were four additional heart attacks per 100,000 people each year.

The findings were consistent across rural and metropolitan areas after adjusting for age, obesity, high blood lipids, high blood pressure, smoking status, and diabetes. The results emphasise the importance of the food environment as a potential contributor towards health, said Indian-origin researcher Tarunpreet Saluja from the University of Newcastle in Australia.

This retrospective cohort study included 3,070 patients admitted to hospital with a heart attack between 2011 and 2013.

Fast Food. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The researchers recorded the total number of outlets within each local government area and compared different areas to analyse the association between density of fast food restaurants and incidence of heart attack.

“The ubiquitous presence of fast food is an important consideration for the ongoing development of rural and metropolitan areas,” he said.

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“This study highlights the impact of the food environment on health. In addition to regulating the location and density of fast food outlets, local areas should ensure good access to supermarkets with healthy food,” said Jeroen Bax, Professor at the Leiden University in Netherlands. (IANS)

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Stop Consuming Ultra-Processed Foods For A Healthy Heart

Consuming a lot of ultra-processed foods can lower heart health

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Ultra-processed food
Ultra-processed food can deteriorate heart health. Pixabay

If you are eating too much ultra-processed foods, stop consuming it now as researchers have found that eating fast food is linked to lower heart health.

“Eating ultra-processed foods often displaces healthier foods that are rich in nutrients, like fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, which are strongly linked to good heart health,” said study research Zefeng Zhang from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US.

“In addition, ultra-processed foods are often high in salt, added sugars, saturated fat and other substances associated with increasing the risk of heart disease,” Zhang added.

Ultra-processed foods are made entirely or mostly from substances extracted from foods, such as fats, starches, hydrogenated fats, added sugar, modified starch and other compounds and include cosmetic additives such as artificial flavours, colours or emulsifiers.

Examples include soft drinks, packaged salty snacks, cookies, cakes, processed meats, chicken nuggets, powdered and packaged instant soups and many items often marketed as “convenience foods.”

 ultra-processed
Ultra-processed food items are marketed as ‘convenience foods.’ Pixabay

Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) collected between 2011 and 2016, researchers reviewed the results from 13,446 adults, 20 years of age and older, who completed a 24-hour dietary recall and answered questions about their cardiovascular health.

Researchers have found that for every five per cent increase in calories from ultra-processed foods a person ate, there was a corresponding decrease in overall cardiovascular health.

Adults who ate approximately 70 per cent of their calories from ultra-processed foods were half as likely to have ‘ideal’ cardiovascular health, compared with people who ate 40 per cent or less of their calories from ultra-processed foods.

Also Read- Indians Are Cooking Western Food In Their Kitchens: Survey

“This study underscores the importance of building a healthier diet by eliminating foods such as sugar-sweetened beverages, cookies, cakes and other processed foods,” said Donna Arnett from the University of Kentucky in the US.

The study is scheduled to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2019 from November 16-18 in Philadelphia, US. (IANS)