The study by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health involved 52,000 Chinese residents of Singapore over a 16-year period, and found that:
- People who consume fast food even once a week increase their risk of dying from coronary heart disease by 20 percent compared to people who avoid fast food.
- People who eat fast food two to three times a week increase their risk by 50 percent.
- For people who consume fast food four or more times each week, their risk skyrocket to nearly 80 percent.
- Eating fast food two or more times a week was also found to increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 27 percent.
"What's interesting about the results is that study participants who reported eating fast food most frequently were younger, better educated, smoked less and were more likely to be physically active," says lead researcher Andrew Odegaard, Ph.D., M.P.H. "This profile is normally associated with lower cardio-metabolic risk."
There's no delicate way to put it: Fast food is bad, even in moderation. The portions are often larger (upsize, anyone?) and the food is typically high in calories and low in nutrients. Even worse, trans-fatty acids, or partially hydrogenated oils, are also found in many fast foods and these could be responsible for the increased risk of coronary heart disease risk, the researchers believe.