Medicine

Eating Fried Chicken Every Day Linked To Early Death

Eating Fried Chicken Every Day Linked To Early Death

In a study [PDF] that confirms what should be obvious to anyone not in complete denial, researchers have finally put a number on the dangers posed by overconsumption of fried foods: a 13% increase in the chance of death.

It showed eating one or more servings a day of fried food increased the risk of early death among postmenopausal women by up to 13-percent.

They found that regularly eating fried foods was associated with a heightened risk of death among these women from any cause and specifically heart-related death.

Researchers saw a correlation between fried food and death from heart disease, but didn't find a link between fried food and cancer.

"Reducing the consumption of fried foods, especially fried chicken and fried fish/shellfish, may have clinically meaningful impact across the public health spectrum", the resaerchers said.

It highlights the food habits of nearly 107,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79 from 40 clinics across the United States between 1993 and 1998. All of the women were part of the Women's Health Initiative study, and they filled out one detailed questionnaire about their dietary habits in the 1990s.

- One or more servings of fried fish or shellfish a day was linked to a seven per cent higher risk of death from any cause and a 13 per cent higher risk of heart-related death compared with no fried food.

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Fried food's link to health outcomes is the combined effect from the food itself and the frying process, Bao explained.

Nobody thinks fried chicken is good for you, but most people think it's ok to indulge once in a while.

"Although there is an increased risk of eating fried food in terms of mortality, the risk is lower with low frequency", Bao added.

Elevated blood pressure in people under 40 is associated with reduced brain volume, a new study has found. They were also smokers, have a lower quality diet, and exercise less. "Previous research has told us the traditional Southern diet, which is known for fried foods, is not ideal for optimal heart health and this study helps break down why that may be", she said, adding that almost 80% of cardiac events can be prevented, yet heart disease is the number one killer of women.

But other factors could play a role as well, Dr. Bao said.

Additional research taking various cooking methods, temperature and type of oil into consideration could shed light on the nature of the associations, the researchers write. Past research has connected French fries to cancer and a higher mortality risk.

The presence of "unidentified confounders is still possible", so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause, they said. Women who ate fried food regularly had a much larger daily calorie intake than those who didn't eat fried food.