Too Much Fried Food May Shorten Your Life

Henrietta Brewer
January 26, 2019

Women eating one or more servings of fried food a day had an 8% higher risk of death from all causes as well as heart-related death compared with those who did not eat fried food. For one, it quoted British Nutrition Foundation nutrition scientist Bridget Benelam as saying that there could be various reasons why fried fish and chicken consumption could be harmful to one's health, particularly in how they are cooked. The study did not observe for any linkages between fried food and cancer.

Forget the fried chicken.

"Reducing the consumption of fried foods, especially fried chicken and fried fish/shellfish, may have clinically meaningful impact".

Still, Bao says his study is among the first to look at how eating any type of fried food affects mortality risk over time.

Several cohort studies in USA 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.

The authors, led by a team from the University of Iowa, concluded: 'Frequent consumption of fried foods, especially fried chicken and fried fish/shellfish, was associated with a higher risk of all cause and cardiovascular mortality in women in the USA'.

Almost 107,000 women between ages 50 and 79 were quizzed on their diets and other health problems.

According to the study, women who consumed fried chicken at least once a day were more at risk of dying by 13 percent and more susceptible to developing heart-related illness by 12 percent compared to those who did not eat any fried food at all.

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

"Thus, we used data from a large, prospective cohort to examine the association of total and specific fried food consumption with all cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality in USA women".

Those eating the most fried foods also tended to eat fewer vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and more sugary drinks, nuts, salt and red and processed meat.

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 study concluded by listing its observations and its importance to the discussions about public health, but it also said that further research is necessary to make more specific conclusions. Past research has connected French fries to cancer and a higher mortality risk.

However, Bao said that the new study's findings "can't be generalized globally".

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