Daily portion of fried chicken can increase risk of early death, study finds

Excessive consumption of fried food has been linked to diabetes, heart disease and obesity

Sabrina Barr
Friday 25 January 2019 16:03 GMT
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Eating a daily portion of fried chicken could be linked to a premature death, scientists have discovered.

The detrimental impact of consuming excessive quantities of fried food has long been documented, with negative effects including an increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and becoming obese.

While some may think that eating a small amount of fried food a day can do no harm, researchers have found that doing so may lead to an early death caused by cardiovascular issues.

A team from the University of Iowa and Washington University conducted a study published in medical journal BMJ to determine how eating fried food affects postmenopausal women.

The researchers assessed the data of more than 100,000 women aged between 50 and 79, which was gathered by a questionnaire carried out by the Women's Health Initiative (WHI).

The women whose information was analysed as part of the study enrolled with the WHI between 1993 and 1998.

They were then monitored until February 2017.

Over the course of the 19- to 24-year period, 31,588 of the women passed away.

More than 9,000 of these deaths were caused by heart-related issues, more than 8,000 caused by cancer and more than 13,000 by other causes.

The scientists assessed how much fried food the participants regularly consumed, including dishes such as fried chicken, fried fish and french fries.

After taking other lifestyle factors into account, the team concluded that eating fried food every day was more likely to be associated with a premature death either caused by a heart-related issue or another cause than eating fried food less frequently.

Eating one or more portion of fried chicken a day resulted in a 13 per cent increased likelihood of early death from any cause, and a 12 per cent increased risk of a death caused by a cardiovascular condition.

A daily serving of fried fish came with similar negative consequences - a seven per cent increased risk of premature death from any cause and a 13 per cent increased risk of death caused by a heart issue.

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While the study is observational, the researchers believe the large size of the cohort makes their study's findings reliable.

"We have identified a risk factor for cardiovascular mortality that is readily modifiable by lifestyle and cooking choices," they conclude.

"Reducing the consumption of fried foods, especially fried chicken and fried fish/shellfish, could have a clinically meaningful effet across the public health spectrum."

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