A new research that was published in The BMJ states that eating fried chicken regularly could increase the risk of early death. The study found that eating fried food was connected to a heightened risk of death in postmenopausal women.
How fried chicken can cause early death
The researchers of the study used questionnaire data to assess the diets of around 106,966 women aged 50 to 70 who were followed for 18 years up to February 2017. They checked at how often they ate different fried foods like fish, chicken, french fries, shellfish, tacos, and tortilla chips. Over that period, around 31,588 women died. Heart issues caused 8,358 of those deaths.
Wei Bao, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Iowa and the lead author of the study said that they know that fried food consumption is something very common in America and also around the world. Unfortunately, they know very little about the long-term health effect of fried food consumption.
According to Bao, the study is the first of its kind, but previous research has shown a link between eating fried food and an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Overall, after accounting for lifestyle, education level, diet quality, and income, the results showed that regularly eating fried food was connected to an increased risk of death. Those who ate one or more serving of fried food every day had an 8% higher risk than those who do not eat fried foods daily.
Eating fried chicken every day was linked to a 13% higher risk of death and a 12% higher risk of death from a heart-related problem, compared to no fried food. Eating fried fish every day was connected to a 7% higher risk of death. The researchers did not find any evidence that fried food increased the risk of cancer.
Women who ate more fried foods were more likely to have a lower income, more likely to be young and have less education. They were also more likely to exercise less, to smoke and have a less healthy diet in general.
As an observational study, the results can't necessarily be applied to everyone, but Bao stated that the team did not have any reason to think that the effects would differ by gender or age. He said that he would suspect the association may be similar among younger women and even among men.
There are other limitations of the study and other factors that could play a role in premature deaths. For example, the kind of oil that is used for frying, as some are worse for you than the others. A study conducted in Spain did not find any links between fried food and early deaths because the population used olive oil.
The researchers of the study wrote that they have identified a risk factor for cardiovascular mortality that is readily modifiable by lifestyle. They added that reducing the consumption of fried foods, especially fried chicken, fried fish, and fried shellfish, may have a clinically meaningful impact across the public health spectrum.
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