Diet rich in fast food can more than double risk of type 2 diabetes

by Barbara Hewitt on November 14, 2013


Overweight people who regularly eat fast food such as chips and burgers are 70% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, a new study claims.

Looking at the effects of Western junk food on the health of non Western populations

The study found that those eat eat fast food regularly were 70% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and it goes up to 114% for those who eat larger amounts.

The increase in risk affects those who regularly eat fast food compared with those who regularly eat more healthy food such as fish, chicken, raw vegetables and fruit.

Those who eat larger amounts of fast food could be up to 114% more likely to go on to develop type 2 diabetes, the researchers at the University Medical Centre in Utrecht in Holland have found.

They studied 20,853 people who were overweight or obese. They were divided into two groups; those who regularly had fish, chicken, wine, raw vegetables and fruit, and those that lived on a diet with a regular intake of fast food, including chips and snacks.

The results found that not only did those in the fast food group have an increased risk of diabetes but one that was 70% higher.

The researchers also found that the amount of fast food also made a difference as those that had the highest intake of fast food had an increase in risk of 114% compared with those in the study that had the lowest intake.

Fast food is characterised by a number of negative factors for health and is typically energy dense and high in calories, fat and carbohydrates. Whilst having a lot of calories, these foods are often nutritionally lacking, particularly crisps and chips which have little fibre or essential vitamins and minerals.

Although being active could help lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the study concludes that a diet high in fast foods, particularly for those who donít exercise, has a much higher risk in terms of developing the condition.

While other studies have suggested that particular foods, such as soft drinks or red meat, can increase the risk of diabetes, this study is of importance because it indicated a higher risk, according to Benedict Jephcote of Diabetes UK.

‘The fact that higher amounts of processed fast food could more than double the risk of type 2 diabetes should be sending a clear message to decision makers in the UK,’ he added.

The study is part of the European Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study for the Netherlands.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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