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Western-Style Fast Food Poses Health Risk to Singaporeans

Last Updated: July 02, 2012.

Chinese Singaporeans who frequently consume Western-style fast food items have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus and of coronary heart disease mortality, according to a study published online July 2 in Circulation.

MONDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Chinese Singaporeans who frequently consume Western-style fast food items have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus and of coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality, according to a study published online July 2 in Circulation.

Andrew O. Odegaard, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, and colleagues assessed the correlation between Western-style fast food intake and the risk of incident type 2 diabetes and CHD mortality for Chinese Singaporean men and women. Participants aged 45 to 74 years were enrolled in the Singapore Chinese Health Study from 1993 to 1998.

The researchers found that, of the 52,584 participants included in the CHD mortality analysis, there were 1,397 deaths through 2009. There were 2,252 cases of type 2 diabetes mellitus identified and validated from 43,176 participants included in the analysis through 2004. Relative to those with reporting little of no intake of Western-style fast food items, those with frequent intake (at least two times per week) had a significantly increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (hazard ratio [HR], 1.27) and of CHD mortality (HR, 1.56). These associations persisted even after adjusting for overall dietary pattern, energy intake, and body mass index.

"Chinese Singaporeans with relatively frequent intake of Western-style fast food items have a modestly increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus and a strong and graded risk of dying as a result of CHD," the authors write. "These findings suggest the need for further attention to global dietary acculturation in the context of the epidemiological and nutrition transitions."

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