Fried chicken, fish linked to early death

Faith Castro
January 26, 2019

"Thus, we used data from a large, prospective cohort to examine the association of total and specific fried food consumption with all cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality in U.S. women".

Those who reported eating at least one serving of fried food per day had about an 8% higher chance of dying early, compared to women who said they did not eat any, according to the study.

To investigate a possible association between eating fried food with death from any cause, and in particular from cancer or cardiovascular disease, the researchers looked at the women's total and specific consumption of different fried foods, including fried chicken, fried fish, fish sandwiches, fried shellfish, including shrimp and oysters, and other fried foods such as french fries, tortilla chips and tacos. Because more than a third of adults reportedly eat at fast food restaurants where fried foods take center stage, nutritionists suggest lowering intake.

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

Several cohort studies in United States populations have found that higher consumption of fried foods was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, they write, but a study in a Mediterranean population found no association between fried food consumption and coronary heart disease.

It highlights the food habits of nearly 107,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79 from 40 clinics across the United States between 1993 and 1998.

Researchers at the University of Iowa studied 106,966 women for 18 years.

Eating fried chicken every day increases the risk of death by 13 per cent for women aged 50 to 79, study finds.

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"Although there is an increased risk of eating fried food in terms of mortality, the risk is lower with low frequency", Bao added.

The results are not surprising "given the association of fried food to weight gain and obesity, as well as elevation of cholesterol and triglycerides", said Dr. Guy Mintz, who was not part of the study.

However, CNN noted that the study has its limitations after interviewing a number of experts on the matter. They were also more likely to be smokers, exercise less and have a lower quality diet.

Also, they explain, the study is based on observation, not cause and effect, and involves only American women.

Fried fish was linked with a 7% higher risk.

However, Bao said that the new study's findings "can't be generalized globally".

'The good news is that using healthier cooking methods at home - such as baking, grilling or roasting, and choosing healthier options while eating out - are simple changes that can make a big difference to your heart health'.

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